Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2012
Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Consolidation, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Consolidation and Basis of Presentation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of all subsidiaries; intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation. The accounting and reporting policies of the Company conform to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).
The Company's investment in the common stock of Silver Bay was reviewed for consolidation under the applicable consolidation guidance, including voting control and variable interest entities ("VIE") models. The Company concluded that it does not have voting control of Silver Bay nor is Silver Bay considered a VIE and, therefore, consolidation of Silver Bay is not required.
Use of Estimates, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires us to make a number of significant estimates. These include estimates of fair value of certain assets and liabilities, amount and timing of credit losses, prepayment rates, the period of time during which the Company anticipates an increase in the fair values of real estate securities sufficient to recover unrealized losses in those securities, and other estimates that affect the reported amounts of certain assets and liabilities as of the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of certain revenues and expenses during the reported period. It is likely that changes in these estimates (e.g., valuation changes due to supply and demand, credit performance, prepayments, interest rates, or other reasons) will occur in the near term. The Company's estimates are inherently subjective in nature and actual results could differ from its estimates and the differences may be material.
Available-for-Sale and Trading Securities, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Available-for-Sale Securities, at Fair Value and Trading Securities, at Fair Value
The Company invests primarily in mortgage pass-through certificates, collateralized mortgage obligations and other residential mortgage-backed securities representing interests in or obligations backed by pools of mortgage loans (collectively “RMBS”) issued by Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), and Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA”) (collectively, “the Agencies” or “GSEs”). The Company also invests in residential mortgage-backed securities that are not issued by the GSEs ("non-Agency RMBS") and U.S. Treasuries.
The Company classifies its RMBS securities, excluding inverse interest-only Agency securities classified as derivatives for purposes of U.S. GAAP, as available-for-sale (“AFS”) investments. Although the Company generally intends to hold most of its investment securities until maturity, it may, from time to time, sell any of its investment securities as part of its overall management of its portfolio. Accordingly, the Company classifies all of its RMBS investment securities as AFS, including its interest-only strips, which represent the Company's right to receive a specified portion of the contractual interest flows of specific Agency securities. All assets classified as AFS are reported at estimated fair value, with unrealized gains and losses, excluding other than temporary impairments, included in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), a separate component of stockholders' equity, on an after-tax basis.
The Company classifies its U.S. Treasuries as trading securities. The Company's trading securities are carried at estimated fair value with changes in fair value recorded as a component of net gain on investment securities in the consolidated statement of income.
Balance Sheet Presentation
Investment securities transactions are recorded on the trade date. Purchases of newly-issued securities are recorded when all significant uncertainties regarding the characteristics of the securities are removed, generally shortly before settlement date. Realized gains and losses on sales of investment securities are determined on the first-in, first-out (“FIFO”) method.
Determination of RMBS Fair Value, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Determination of RMBS Fair Value
Fair value is determined under the guidance of ASC 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (“ASC 820”). The Company determines the fair value of its Agency RMBS and U.S. Treasuries based upon prices obtained from third-party pricing providers or broker quotes received using the bid price, which are both deemed indicative of market activity. In determining the fair value of its non-Agency RMBS, management judgment is used to arrive at fair value that considers prices obtained from third-party pricing providers, broker quotes received and other applicable market data.
If listed price data is not available or insufficient, then fair value is based upon internally developed models that are primarily based on observable market-based inputs but also include unobservable market data inputs. The Company classifies these securities as Level 3 assets. As of December 31, 2012, less than one percent of the investment securities portfolio is categorized as Level 3.
The Company's application of ASC 820 guidance is discussed in further detail in Note 12 - Fair Value of these notes to the consolidated financial statements.
Revenue Recognition, Premium Amortization and Discount Accretion, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Revenue Recognition, Premium Amortization and Discount Accretion
Interest income on securities is accrued based on the outstanding principal balance and their contractual terms. Premiums and discounts associated with RMBS that are issued or guaranteed as to principal and/or interest by a federally chartered corporation, such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or an agency of the U.S. Government, such as Ginnie Mae (collectively, “Agency RMBS”) and non-Agency RMBS rated AA and higher at the time of purchase, are amortized into interest income over the life of such securities using the effective yield method. Adjustments to premium amortization are made for actual prepayment activity. The Company estimates prepayments for its Agency interest-only securities, which represent the Company's right to receive a specified portion of the contractual interest flows of specific Agency and CMO securities. As a result, if prepayments increase (or are expected to increase), the Company will accelerate the rate of amortization on the premiums.
Interest income on the non-Agency RMBS that were purchased at a discount to par value and were rated below AA at the time of purchase is recognized based on the security's effective interest rate. The effective interest rate on these securities is based on the projected cash flows from each security, which are estimated based on the Company's observation of current information and events and include assumptions related to interest rates, prepayment rates, and the timing and amount of credit losses. On at least a quarterly basis, the Company reviews and, if appropriate, makes adjustments to its cash flow projections based on input and analysis received from external sources, internal models, and its judgment about interest rates, prepayment rates, the timing and amount of credit losses, and other factors. Changes in cash flows from those originally projected, or from those estimated at the last evaluation, may result in a prospective change in the yield/interest income recognized on such securities. Actual maturities of the available-for-sale securities are affected by the contractual lives of the associated mortgage collateral, periodic payments of principal, and prepayments of principal. Therefore actual maturities of available-for-sale securities are generally shorter than stated contractual maturities. Stated contractual maturities are generally greater than ten years. There can be no assurance that the Company's assumptions used to estimate future cash flows or the current period's yield for each asset would not change in the near term, and the change could be material.
Based on the projected cash flows from the Company's non-Agency RMBS purchased at a discount to par value, a portion of the purchase discount may be designated as credit protection against future credit losses and, therefore, not accreted into interest income. The amount designated as credit discount may be adjusted over time, based on the actual performance of the security, its underlying collateral, actual and projected cash flow from such collateral, economic conditions, and other factors. If the performance of a security with a credit discount is more favorable than forecasted, a portion of the amount designated as credit discount may be accreted into interest income prospectively. Conversely, if the performance of a security with a credit discount is less favorable than forecasted, an impairment charge and write-down of such security to a new cost basis results.
Impairment, Policy [Policy Text Block]
The Company evaluates its investment securities, on a quarterly basis, to assess whether a decline in the fair value of an available-for-sale security below the Company's amortized cost basis is an other-than-temporary impairment (“OTTI”). The presence of OTTI is based upon a fair value decline below a security's amortized cost basis and a corresponding adverse change in expected cash flows due to credit related factors as well as non-credit factors, such as changes in interest rates and market spreads. Impairment is considered other-than-temporary if an entity (i) intends to sell the security, (ii) will more likely than not be required to sell the security before it recovers in value, or (iii) does not expect to recover the security's amortized cost basis, even if the entity does not intend to sell the security. Under these scenarios, the impairment is other-than-temporary and the full amount of impairment should be recognized currently in earnings and the cost basis of the investment security is adjusted. However, if an entity does not intend to sell the impaired debt security and it is more likely than not that it will not be required to sell before recovery, the OTTI should be separated into (i) the estimated amount relating to credit loss (“credit” component), and (ii) the amount relating to all other factors (“non-credit” component). Only the estimated credit loss amount is recognized currently in earnings, with the remainder of the loss amount recognized in other comprehensive income. The difference between the new amortized cost basis and the cash flows expected to be collected is accreted as interest income in accordance with the effective interest method.
Equity Securities, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Equity Securities, at Fair Value
In exchange for the contribution of the Company's equity interests in its wholly owned subsidiary, Two Harbors Property Investment LLC, to Silver Bay on December 19, 2012, the Company received shares of common stock of Silver Bay. The Company has classified the securities as equity securities on the balance sheet and has elected the fair value option for accounting purposes. The securities are valued using the closing market price at period end. See Note 12 - Fair Value of these notes to the financial statements for details on fair value measurement.
Mortgage Loans Held-for-Sale, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Mortgage Loans Held-for-Sale
Mortgage loans held-for-sale are reported at fair value as a result of a fair value option election. Fair value is determined under the guidance of ASC 820. The Company determines the fair value of its mortgage loans held-for-sale by type of loan and the determination is generally based on current secondary market pricing or cash flow models using market-based yield requirements. See Note 12 - Fair Value of these notes to the financial statements for details on fair value measurement. The Company classifies mortgage loans held-for-sale based on management's intent to sell them in the secondary whole loan market or include them in a securitization.
Interest income on mortgage loans held-for-sale is recognized at the loan coupon rate. Loans are considered past due when they are 30 days past their contractual due date. Interest income recognition is suspended when mortgage loans are placed on nonaccrual status. Generally, mortgage loans are placed on nonaccrual status when delinquent for more than 60 days or when determined not to be probable of full collection. Interest accrued, but not collected, at the date mortgage loans are placed on nonaccrual is reversed and subsequently recognized only to the extent it is received in cash or until it qualifies for return to accrual status. However, where there is doubt regarding the ultimate collectability of loan principal, all cash received is applied to reduce the carrying value of such loans. Mortgage loans are restored to accrual status only when contractually current or the collection of future payments is reasonably assured.
Cash and Cash Equivalents, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include cash held in bank accounts and cash held in money market funds on an overnight basis.
Restricted Cash, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Restricted Cash
Restricted cash represents the Company's cash held by counterparties as collateral against the Company's securities, derivatives and/or repurchase agreements. Also included is the cash balance held pursuant to a letter of credit on the New York office lease. Cash held by counterparties as collateral, which resides in non-interest bearing accounts, is not available to the Company for general corporate purposes, but may be applied against amounts due to securities, derivatives or repurchase counterparties or returned to the Company when the collateral requirements are exceeded or, at the maturity of the derivative or repurchase agreement.
Accrued Interest Receivable, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Accrued Interest Receivable
Accrued interest receivable represents interest that is due and payable to the Company. Cash interest is generally received within thirty days of recording the receivable.
Due from/to Counterparties, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Due from/to Counterparties, net
Due from Counterparties includes cash held by counterparties for payment of principal and interest as well as cash held by counterparties as collateral against the Company's derivatives and/or repurchase agreements but represents excess capacity and deemed unrestricted and a receivable from the counterparty as of the balance sheet date. Due to counterparties includes cash payable by the Company upon settlement of trade positions as well as cash deposited to and held by the Company as collateral against the Company's derivatives and/or repurchase agreements but represents a payable to the counterparty as of the balance sheet date.
Derivative Financial Instruments, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Derivative Financial Instruments, at Fair Value
In accordance with codified guidance of ASC 815 - Derivatives and Hedging (“ASC 815”), all derivative financial instruments, whether designated for hedging relationships or not, are recorded on the consolidated balance sheet as assets or liabilities and carried at fair value.
At the inception of a derivative contract, the Company determines whether the instrument will be part of a qualifying hedge accounting relationship or whether the Company will account for the contract as a trading instrument. Due to the volatility of the credit markets and difficulty in effectively matching pricing or cash flows, the Company has elected to treat all current derivative contracts as trading instruments. Changes in fair value as well as the accrual and settlement of interest associated with derivatives accounted for as trading instruments are reported in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income as loss on interest rate swap and swaption agreements or (loss) gain on other derivative instruments depending on the type of derivative instrument.
The Company enters into interest rate derivative contracts for a variety of reasons, including minimizing significant fluctuations in earnings or market values on certain assets or liabilities that may be caused by changes in interest rates. The Company may, at times, enter into various forward contracts including short securities, Agency to-be-announced securities (“TBAs”), options, futures, swaps, and caps. Due to the nature of these instruments, they may be in a receivable/asset position or a payable/liability position at the end of an accounting period. Amounts payable to, and receivable from, the same party under contracts may be offset as long as the following conditions are met: (a) each of the two parties owes the other determinable amounts; (b) the reporting party has the right to offset the amount owed with the amount owed by the other party; (c) the reporting party intends to offset; and (d) the right of offset is enforceable by law. If the aforementioned conditions are not met, amounts payable to and receivable from are presented by the Company on a gross basis in the consolidated balance sheet.
The Company has provided specific disclosure regarding the location and amounts of derivative instruments in the financial statements and how derivative instruments and related hedged items are accounted for. See Note 10 - Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities of these notes to the consolidated financial statements.
Property and Equipment, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment, stated at cost, net of accumulated depreciation, are reported in other assets in the Company's consolidated balance sheets. Included in property and equipment are certain furniture and fixtures, leasehold improvements, and information technology hardware and software. Depreciation is computed on the straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which is generally three years.
Repurchase Agreements, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Repurchase Agreements
The Company finances the acquisition of certain of its investment securities and mortgage loans through the use of repurchase agreements. The repurchase agreements are generally short-term debt, which expire within one year. As of December 31, 2012, certain of the Company's repurchase agreements have contractual terms of greater than one year, and are considered long-term debt. Borrowings under repurchase agreements generally bear interest rates of a specified margin over one-month LIBOR and are generally uncommitted. The repurchase agreements are treated as collateralized financing transactions and are carried at their contractual amounts, as specified in the respective agreements.
Accrued Interest Payable, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Accrued Interest Payable
Accrued interest payable represents interest that is due and payable to third parties. Interest is generally paid within thirty days to three months of recording the payable, based upon the Company's remittance requirements.
Deferred Taxes Assets and Liabilites, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Deferred Tax Assets and Liabilities
Income recognition for GAAP and tax differ in certain respects. These differences often reflect differing accounting treatments for tax and GAAP, such as accounting for discount and premium amortization, credit losses, asset impairments, recognition of certain operating expenses and certain valuation estimates. Some of these differences are temporary in nature and create timing mismatches between when taxable income is earned and the tax is paid versus when the GAAP income is recognized and the tax provision is recorded. Some of these differences are permanent since certain income (or expense) may be recorded for tax but not for GAAP (or vice-versa). One such significant permanent difference is the Company's ability as a REIT to deduct dividends paid to stockholders as an expense for tax, but not for GAAP.
As a result of these temporary differences, the Company's taxable REIT subsidiaries, or TRSs, may recognize taxable income in periods prior or subsequent to when it recognizes income for GAAP. When this occurs, the TRSs pay or defer the tax liability and establish deferred tax assets or deferred tax liabilities, respectively, for GAAP.
As the income is subsequently realized in future periods under GAAP, the deferred tax asset is recognized as an expense. Alternatively, as the TRSs realize the deferred taxable income, the deferred tax liability is recognized as a reduction to taxable income. The Company's deferred tax assets and/or liabilities are generated solely by differences in GAAP and taxable income at our taxable subsidiaries. GAAP and tax differences in the REIT may create additional deferred tax assets to the extent the Company does not distribute all of its taxable income.
Income Taxes, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Income Taxes
The Company has elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) and the corresponding provisions of state law. To qualify as a REIT, the Company must distribute at least 90% of its annual REIT taxable income to stockholders (not including taxable income retained in its taxable subsidiaries) within the time frame set forth in the tax Code and the Company must also meet certain other requirements. In addition, because certain activities, if performed by the Company, may cause the Company to earn income which is not qualifying for the REIT gross income tests, the Company has formed TRSs, as defined in the Code, to engage in such activities. These TRSs' activities are subject to income taxes as well as any REIT taxable income not distributed to stockholders.
The Company assesses its tax positions for all open tax years and determines whether the Company has any material unrecognized liabilities in accordance with ASC 740, Income Taxes. The Company records these liabilities to the extent the Company deems them more likely than not to be incurred. The Company classifies interest and penalties on material uncertain tax positions as interest expense and operating expense, respectively, in its consolidated statements of comprehensive income.
Earnings (Loss) Per Share, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Earnings (Loss) Per Share
Basic and diluted earnings per share are computed by dividing net income attributable to common stockholders by the weighted average number of common shares and potential common shares outstanding during the period. For both basic and diluted per share calculations, potential common shares represents issued and unvested shares of restricted stock, which have full rights to the common stock dividend declarations of the Company. For diluted per share calculations, potential common shares also includes dilutive warrants if the weighted average market value per share of the Company's common stock was above the strike price of the warrants during the period presented. In accordance with ASC 260 Earnings Per Share (“ASC 260”), if there is a loss from continuing operations, the common stock equivalents are deemed anti-dilutive and earnings (loss) per share is calculated excluding the potential common shares.
Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Policy [Policy Text Block]
Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)
Current period net unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities are reported as components of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) on our consolidated statements of stockholders' equity and in the statement of comprehensive income. Net unrealized gains and losses on securities held by our taxable subsidiaries that are reported in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) are adjusted for the effects of taxation and may create deferred tax assets or liabilities.
Equity Incentive Plan, Policy [Policy Text Block]
Equity Incentive Plan
The Company adopted an equity incentive plan in 2009 which provides incentive compensation to attract and retain qualified directors, officers, advisors, consultants and other personnel, including PRCM Advisers LLC and its affiliates. The 2009 equity incentive plan is administered by the compensation committee of the Company's board of directors. The 2009 equity incentive plan permits the granting of restricted shares of common stock, phantom shares, dividend equivalent rights and other equity-based awards.
The cost of equity awards is determined in accordance with ASC 718, Compensation - Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”) and amortized over the vesting term using an accelerated method.