S-3 1 earns-32021.htm S-3 Document

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 26, 2021
Registration No. 333-
 UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form S-3
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Maryland46-0687599
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
53 Forest Avenue
Old Greenwich, Connecticut 06870
(203) 698-1200
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
Laurence Penn
Chief Executive Officer
53 Forest Avenue
Old Greenwich, Connecticut 06870
(203) 698-1200
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
Copies to:
Daniel M. LeBey
Christopher C. Green
Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.
Riverfront Plaza, West Tower
901 E. Byrd Street, Suite 1500
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 327-6300
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.
If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box. ¨
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box. x
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨
If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ¨
If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer
¨
Accelerated Filer¨
Non-Accelerated Filer
x
Smaller Reporting Companyx
Emerging Growth Company¨
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ¨ ¨



CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
Title of Securities To Be RegisteredAmount To Be RegisteredProposed Maximum Offering Price Per ShareProposed Maximum Aggregate Offering Price


Amount of Registration Fee
Primary Offering:
Common shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value per share . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$58,857,746(1)
$6,421.38(2)
Secondary Offering:
Common shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value per share . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,410,050(1)$12.065(3)$41,142,254(3)$4,488.62(3)
Total (Primary and Secondary Offering). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$100,000,000(1)(3)$10,910(4)

(1)Includes an indeterminate number of shares that may be issued by Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT, or the “Registrant,” by way of a share distribution, share split or in connection with a share combination, merger, consolidation or otherwise.
(2)Calculated pursuant to Rule 457(o) of the rules and regulations under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the "Securities Act."
(3)The price of the shares has been estimated pursuant to Rule 457(c) under the Securities Act solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act, and the price listed is the average of the high and low prices of the Registrant’s common shares as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on April 21, 2021 (a date within five business days prior to the date of filing this Registration Statement).
(4)Pursuant to Rule 457(p) under the Securities Act, the Registrant hereby offsets the total registration fee due under this Registration Statement by the amount of the registration fee associated with a portion of the unsold securities from the Registrant’s Form S-3 Registration Statement, filed by the Registrant with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the “SEC,” on October 12, 2017 (SEC File No. 333-220923), registering securities for a maximum aggregate offering price of $500,000,000, or the “Prior Registration Statement”. Of that amount, the Registrant did not sell any securities. $54,550 of the associated registration fee of $62,250 for such unsold securities under the Prior Registration Statement was used to offset the registration fee due in connection with the filing of the Form S-3 Registration Statement filed by the Registrant with the SEC on December 4, 2020 (SEC File No. 333-251141). The remaining portion of the associated registration fee of $62,250 for unsold securities under the Prior Registration Statement is hereby used to offset the current registration fee due. Accordingly, $7,700 of the $10,910 registration fee currently due for this Registration Statement has been offset against a portion of the balance of the registration fee paid for the Prior Registration Statement.


The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act or until this Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the SEC, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.




The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We and the selling shareholders may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where an offer or sale is not permitted.
 
SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED April 26, 2021
Prospectus  
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
$58,857,746 of
Common Shares
and
3,410,050 Common Shares by the Selling Shareholders
We may offer, issue and sell, from time to time, up to $58,857,746 of our common shares of beneficial interest, which we refer to as “common shares.” In addition, Blackstone Tactical Opportunities EARN Holdings L.L.C. (the “Blackstone Holder”) and EMG Holdings, L.P. (the “Ellington Holder,” together with the Blackstone Holder, the “Selling Shareholders”) may from time to time offer and sell up to 3,410,050 common shares.
This prospectus includes a general description of the common shares we or the Selling Shareholders may offer and the manner in which they may be offered. The specific terms of any common shares to be offered, and the specific manner in which they will be offered, may be described in a supplement to this prospectus or incorporated into this prospectus by reference. You should read this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement before you invest in any of our common shares.
We or the Selling Shareholders may offer and sell the common shares to or through one or more underwriters, broker-dealers and agents, or directly to purchasers, on a continuous or delayed basis.
Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or “NYSE,” under the symbol “EARN.” The last reported sale price of our common shares on the NYSE on April 23, 2021 was $12.19 per share. Our principal executive offices are located at 53 Forest Avenue, Old Greenwich, Connecticut 06870, and our telephone number is (203) 698-1200.
We have elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, or a “REIT.” To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, our declaration of trust generally limits beneficial ownership of our shares to no more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our shares. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”
Investing in our common shares involves risks. You should carefully read and consider the information referred to under “Risk Factors” on page 3 of this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement before making a decision to purchase our common shares.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is                     , 2021




TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
About this Prospectus
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
Risk Factors
Use of Proceeds
Selling Shareholders
Description of Our Common Shares of Beneficial Interest
Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Declaration of Trust and Bylaws
Operating Partnership and the Partnership Agreement
Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations
Plan of Distribution
Legal Matters
Experts
Where You Can Find More Information
Documents Incorporated By Reference

You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement, any applicable free writing prospectus prepared by us or information to which we have referred you. We have not, and the Selling Shareholders have not, authorized any other person to provide you with information that is different. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not, and the Selling Shareholders are not, making an offer to sell the common shares covered by this prospectus in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The information contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement, any applicable free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein or therein is current only as of their respective dates or on the date or dates which are specified in those documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospectus may have changed since those dates.

i


ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a shelf registration statement that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or "SEC." Under this shelf registration statement, we and the Selling Shareholders may offer and sell the common shares in one or more offerings. Each time we offer to sell common shares under this shelf registration statement, we will, and the Selling Shareholders may, provide a prospectus supplement containing specific information about the terms of that offering. Such a prospectus supplement may add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. Before you buy any of our common shares, it is important for you to consider the information contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement and any applicable free writing prospectus together with additional information described under the headings “Where You Can Find More Information.”

The SEC allows us to incorporate by reference information that is contained in certain reports and other documents that we file with them, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus, and information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede this information.

Except where the context suggests otherwise, “EARN,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT and its subsidiaries, our “Manager” refers to Ellington Residential Mortgage Management LLC, our external manager, and “Ellington” refers to Ellington Management Group, L.L.C. and its affiliated investment advisory firms, including our Manager. In certain instances, references to our Manager and services to be provided to us by our Manager may also include services provided by Ellington and its other affiliates from time to time. References to “Blackstone” mean The Blackstone Group Inc. The “Blackstone Funds” means the group of funds that are managed by an affiliate of Blackstone and that helped form, and have a substantial investment in, our company.

ii


SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

We make forward-looking statements in this prospectus and in the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assured future results of our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, cash flow and plans and objectives. When we use the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “continue,” “intend,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “goal,” “objective,” “will,” “may,” “seek,” or similar expressions or their negative forms, or refer to strategies, plans, or intentions, we intend to identify forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the "Securities Act," and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the “Exchange Act,” and as such, may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and assumptions.

Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account information currently available to us. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations are subject to risks and uncertainties and can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed, anticipated or contemplated in our forward-looking statements. You should carefully consider these risks before you invest in our common shares. The following factors are examples of those that could cause actual results to vary from our forward-looking statements:
changes in the value of our investments, including negative changes resulting in margin calls related to the financing of our assets;
difficult conditions in the markets for our assets, including the market-related and other impacts of pandemics involving infectious diseases, such as novel coronavirus ("COVID-19");
the effect of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s (the "Federal Reserve") and the U.S. Treasury’s actions and programs on the liquidity of the capital markets and the impact and timing of any further programs or regulations implemented by the U.S. government or its agencies;
the federal conservatorship of the Federal National Mortgage Association, or “Fannie Mae,” and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or “Freddie Mac,” and related efforts, along with any changes in laws and regulations affecting the relationship between Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Government National Mortgage Association, within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or “Ginnie Mae,” and the U.S. government;
the impact of the downgrade of the long-term credit ratings of the United States, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae;
changes in prepayments of the mortgages and other loans underlying our Agency RMBS (as defined below);
the volatility of our target markets and of the market value of our assets, including our ability to accurately determine the fair market value of our assets;
increased rates of default and/or decreased recovery rates on our assets;
the degree to which our hedging strategies may or may not protect us from, or expose us to, credit or interest rate risk;
changes in our business and strategy;
availability, terms and deployment of capital;
our projected financial and operating results;
changes in interest rates and the market value of our securities;
our ability to maintain existing financing agreements, obtain future financing arrangements and the terms of such arrangements;
how pandemics involving infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, may affect us, our operations and the personnel supplied to us by our Manager;
changes in economic conditions generally and the real estate and debt securities markets specifically;
legislative or regulatory changes (including tax law changes and changes to laws governing the regulation of investment companies);
our Manager’s ability to hire and retain qualified personnel;
changes in our industry;
iii


availability of investment opportunities;
our estimated book value per common share;
the degree and nature of our competition;
changes to generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or “U.S. GAAP”;
market volatility;
changes in government regulations or loan modification programs affecting our business;
our ability to maintain our qualification, and successfully operate our business as a real estate investment trust, or "REIT," under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the "Code";
our ability to maintain our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or “Investment Company Act”; and
risks associated with investing in real estate-related assets, including changes in business conditions and the general economy.
These and other risks, uncertainties and other important factors identified or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, including, but not limited to, those described under the caption “Risk Factors” in this prospectus, as well as those described under the captions “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and in the other documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus, could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements we make. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made. New risks and uncertainties arise over time, and it is not possible to predict those events or how they may affect us. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to, and do not intend to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. See “Where You Can Find More Information” below.

iv


ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE REIT

Our Company
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT is a Maryland real estate investment trust formed in August 2012 that specializes in acquiring, investing in, and managing residential mortgage- and real estate-related assets. Our primary objective is to generate attractive current yields and risk-adjusted total returns for our shareholders by making investments that we believe compensate us appropriately for the risks associated with them. We seek to attain this objective by constructing and actively managing a portfolio comprised primarily of residential mortgage-backed securities, or “RMBS,” for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. government agency or a U.S. government-sponsored entity, or "Agency RMBS," and, to a lesser extent, RMBS that do not carry such guarantees, or "non-Agency RMBS," such as RMBS backed by prime jumbo, Alternative A-paper, mortgage loans that are not deemed "qualified mortgage," or "QM," loans under the rules of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or "non-QM loans," mortgages on single-family-rental properties, manufactured housing, and subprime residential mortgage loans. We also may opportunistically acquire other types of mortgage- and real estate-related asset classes, such as commercial mortgage-backed securities, or "CMBS," residential mortgage loans, mortgage servicing rights, or "MSRs," and credit risk transfer securities, or "CRTs."
We were formed through an initial strategic venture among affiliates of Ellington, an investment management firm and registered investment adviser with a 26-year history of investing in a broad spectrum of mortgage-backed securities, or "MBS," and related derivatives, and the Blackstone Funds. As of March 31, 2021, the Blackstone Funds owned, through the Blackstone Holder, approximately 26.8% of our outstanding common shares.
We have elected to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes under the Code and have complied, and intend to continue to comply, with the provisions of the Code with respect thereto. We intend to maintain our exclusion from registration under the Investment Company Act.
Our Manager and Ellington
We are externally managed and advised by our Manager, an affiliate of Ellington, pursuant to a management agreement. Our Manager was formed solely to serve as our manager and does not have any other clients. In addition, our Manager does not have any employees of its own and instead relies on the employees of Ellington to perform its obligations to us.
The members of our management team are Michael Vranos, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ellington, who serves as our Co-Chief Investment Officer and as a member of our Board of Trustees; Laurence Penn, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Ellington, who serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board of Trustees; Mark Tecotzky, Vice Chairman—Co-Head of Credit Strategies of Ellington, who serves as our Co-Chief Investment Officer; Christopher Smernoff, who serves as our Chief Financial Officer; JR Herlihy, a Managing Director of Ellington, who serves as our Chief Operating Officer; Daniel Margolis, General Counsel of Ellington, who serves as our General Counsel; Vincent Ambrico, who serves as our Controller; and Jason Frank, Associate General Counsel of Ellington, who serves as our Deputy General Counsel and Secretary. Each of these individuals is an officer of our Manager.
Our Manager is responsible for administering our business activities and day-to-day operations and, pursuant to a services agreement between our Manager and Ellington, relies on the resources of Ellington to support our operations. Ellington has well-established portfolio management resources for each of our targeted asset classes and an established infrastructure supporting those resources. Through our relationship with our Manager, we benefit from Ellington's highly analytical investment processes, broad-based deal flow, extensive relationships in the financial community, financial and capital structuring skills, investment surveillance capabilities, and operational expertise. Ellington's analytic approach to the investment process involves collection of substantial amounts of data regarding historical performance of RMBS collateral and RMBS market transactions. Ellington analyzes this data to identify possible relationships and trends and develops financial models used to support our investment and risk management process. In addition, throughout Ellington's 26-year history of investing in RMBS and related derivatives, it has developed strong relationships with a wide range of dealers and other market participants that provide Ellington access to a broad range of trading opportunities and market information. As a result, Ellington provides us with access to a wide variety of asset acquisition and disposition opportunities and information that assist us in making asset management decisions across our targeted asset classes, which we believe provides us with a significant competitive advantage. We also benefit from Ellington's finance, accounting, operational, legal, compliance, and administrative functions.
As of March 31, 2021 Ellington had over 150 employees and, as of December 31, 2020, had assets under management of approximately $11.3 billion, of which approximately $7.7 billion consisted of our company, as well as Ellington Financial Inc., a Delaware corporation that elected to be taxed as a REIT (NYSE: EFC), and various hedge funds and other alternative investment vehicles that employ financial leverage, and approximately $3.6 billion consisted of accounts that do not employ financial leverage. The $11.3 billion and $7.7 billion in assets under management include approximately $1.4 billion in Ellington-managed collateralized loan obligations, or "CLOs." For these purposes, the Ellington-managed CLO figure
1


represents the aggregate outstanding balance of CLO notes and market value of CLO equity, excluding any notes and equity held by other Ellington-managed funds and accounts.

2


RISK FACTORS

Investment in our common shares involves significant risks. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully read and consider the information set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (which information is incorporated by reference herein), as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any applicable prospectus supplement hereto before making a decision to invest in our securities. See “Where You Can Find More Information,” below.

If any of the risks described in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. The risks and uncertainties described in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any document incorporated by reference in this prospectus or any applicable prospectus supplement are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or not presently deemed material by us, may also impair our operations and performance.



3


USE OF PROCEEDS

Unless otherwise indicated in any applicable prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale by us of common shares offered by this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement for the purchase of our targeted assets and for general corporate purposes.

We will receive no proceeds from the sale of any common shares by the Selling Shareholders. All expenses incurred in connection with this registration statement or a registered offering covering the common shares, including, without limitation, all registration and filing fees, printing expenses, fees and disbursements of our counsel (excluding all costs and expenses of the Selling Shareholders) and of our independent certified public accountants, will be borne by us. However, underwriters’, brokers’ and dealers’ discounts, selling commissions and stock transfer taxes applicable to common shares sold for the account of the Selling Shareholders will be borne by the Selling Shareholders. In addition, registration expenses for any registration statement or offering withdrawn at the request of the Selling Shareholders (unless withdrawn following the postponement of a filing or offering by us in accordance with the registration rights agreement between us and the Selling Shareholders) or any supplements or amendments to a registration statement or prospectus resulting from a misstatement furnished to us by the Selling Shareholders will be borne by the Selling Shareholders.


4


SELLING SHAREHOLDERS

For purposes of this prospectus, the Selling Shareholders include the holders set forth in the table below, as may be amended or supplemented, and its permitted transferees, pledgees, assignees, distributees, donees or successors or others who later hold any of their interests. The Selling Shareholders may from time to time offer and sell pursuant to this prospectus any or all of the common shares owned by the Selling Shareholders, but are not obligated to do so. The Selling Shareholders may sell all, some or none of the Selling Shareholders’ shares pursuant to this prospectus. See “Plan of Distribution.” The following table sets forth certain information as of March 31, 2021 concerning the common shares that may be offered from time to time by the Selling Shareholders under this prospectus. The information set forth below is based on information provided by or on behalf of the Selling Shareholders. The percentage of common shares beneficially owned before and after the offering is based on 12,343,542 common shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021. Because the Selling Shareholders are not obligated to sell the offered securities, we cannot state with certainty the amount of our common shares that the Selling Shareholders will hold upon consummation of any such sales. In addition, since the date on which the Selling Shareholders provided this information to us, such Selling Shareholders may have sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of all or a portion of the offered securities.

Information about the Selling Shareholders may change over time. Any changed or new information given to us by the Selling Shareholders will be set forth in supplements to this prospectus or amendments to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, if and to the extent necessary.

NameNumber of Common Shares Beneficially Owned Prior to OfferingPercentage of Outstanding Common Shares Beneficially Owned Prior to OfferingNumber of Common Shares that May be Offered HerebyNumber of Common Shares Beneficially Owned After Sale of Shares that May be Offered HerebyPercentage of Outstanding Common Shares Beneficially Owned After Sale of Shares that May be Offered Hereby
Blackstone Tactical Opportunities EARN Holdings L.L.C.3,303,578(1)26.8%3,303,578(1)
EMG Holdings, L.P.106,472(2)*106,472(2)
    * Less than 1%.                                                                                                

(1)     The Blackstone Holder directly holds 3,303,578 common shares. BTO EARN Manager L.L.C. is the managing member of the Blackstone Holder. BTOA L.L.C. is the sole member of BTO EARN Manager L.L.C. Blackstone Holdings III L.P. is the managing member of BTOA L.L.C. The general partner of Blackstone Holdings III L.P. is Blackstone Holdings III GP L.P. The general partner of Blackstone Holdings III GP L.P. is Blackstone Holdings III GP Management L.L.C. The sole member of Blackstone Holdings III GP Management L.L.C. is The Blackstone Group Inc. (f/k/a The Blackstone Group L.P.). The sole holder of the Series II preferred stock of The Blackstone Group Inc. is Blackstone Group Management L.L.C. Blackstone Group Management L.L.C. is wholly owned by Blackstone’s senior managing directors and controlled by its founder, Stephen A. Schwarzman. Each of the Blackstone entities described in this footnote and Mr. Schwarzman may be deemed to beneficially own the common shares held by the Blackstone Holder, but each (other than the Blackstone Holder) disclaims beneficial ownership of such shares. The address for Blackstone is 345 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10154.

(2)    The Ellington Holder directly holds 106,472 common shares. The Ellington Holder is a holding company that beneficially owns a majority ownership interest in Ellington and other Ellington affiliates, including our Manager. VC Investments L.L.C. is the general partner of the Ellington Holder and is also the managing member of Ellington and of the Ellington affiliate that owns 100% of the ownership interests in our Manager, and as such controls each of these entities. The limited partners of the Ellington Holder include Mr. Vranos and certain other Ellington principals. Mr. Vranos is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ellington and serves as our Co-Chief Investment Officer and as a member of our Board of Trustees. Mr. Vranos is the managing member of, and beneficially owns a controlling interest in, VC Investments L.L.C. Each of VC Investments L.L.C., the Ellington Holder and Mr. Vranos disclaims beneficial ownership of the common shares held by the Ellington Holder except to the extent of its or his pecuniary interest therein.

5


DESCRIPTION OF OUR COMMON SHARES OF BENEFICIAL INTEREST
Although the following summary describes the material terms of our common shares of beneficial interest, it is not a complete description of the Maryland REIT Law, or the “MRL,” the Maryland General Corporate Law, or the “MGCL,” provisions applicable to a Maryland real estate investment trust or our declaration of trust and bylaws, copies of which are incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
General
Our declaration of trust provides that we may issue up to 500,000,000 common shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value per share, or common shares, and 100,000,000 preferred shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value per share, or preferred shares. As of March 31, 2021, we had 12,343,542 common shares issued and outstanding. Our declaration of trust authorizes our Board of Trustees to approve amendments to our declaration of trust to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares or the number of shares of any class or series that we have authority to issue without shareholder approval.
Under Maryland law, shareholders are not personally liable for the obligations of a Maryland real estate investment trust solely as a result of their status as shareholders.
Common Shares
All of our common shares will, upon issuance, be duly authorized, fully paid and nonassessable. Subject to the preferential rights, if any, of holders of any other class or series of our shares of beneficial interest and to the provisions of our declaration of trust regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, holders of our common shares are entitled to receive distributions on such shares of beneficial interest out of assets legally available therefor if, as and when authorized by our Board of Trustees and declared by us, and the holders of our common shares are entitled to share ratably in our assets legally available for distribution to our shareholders in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, after payment of or adequate provision for all of our known debts and liabilities, except that, to the extent we incur any tax under the Code as the result of any “excess inclusion income” of ours being allocated to a “disqualified organization” that holds our shares in record name, we will reduce distributions to such shareholder in an amount equal to such tax paid by us that is attributable to such shareholder’s ownership in accordance with applicable U.S. Treasury Department ("Treasury") regulations. We do not currently intend to make investments or engage in activities that generate “excess inclusion income,” but our declaration of trust does not prevent “disqualified organizations” from owning our common shares. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of Our Company” and “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income” for a discussion of “disqualified organizations” and “excess inclusion income.”
Our common shares are issued by us and do not represent any interest in or obligation of our Manager, Ellington or any of their affiliates. Further, the shares will not be a deposit or other obligation of any bank, will not be an insurance policy of any insurance company and will not be insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, any other governmental agency or any insurance company. Our common shares will not benefit from any insurance guaranty association coverage or any similar protection.
Subject to the provisions of our declaration of trust regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our common shares and except as may otherwise be specified in the terms of any class or series of our shares, each outstanding common share entitles the holder to one vote on all matters submitted to a vote of shareholders, including the election of trustees, and, except as provided with respect to any other class or series of our shares, the holders of such common shares will possess the exclusive voting power. There is no cumulative voting in the election of our trustees, which means that, subject to the rights of holders of any other class or series of our shares, the shareholders entitled to cast a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the election of trustees can elect all of the trustees then standing for election, and the remaining shareholders will not be able to elect any trustees.
Holders of common shares generally have no preference, conversion, exchange, sinking fund, redemption or appraisal rights and have no preemptive rights to subscribe for any of our securities. Subject to the restrictions on ownership and transfer of shares contained in our declaration of trust and the terms of any other class or series of common shares, all of our common shares will have equal dividend, liquidation and other rights.
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Power to Reclassify Our Unissued Shares of Beneficial Interest
Our declaration of trust authorizes our Board of Trustees to classify and reclassify any unissued common or preferred shares into other classes or series of our shares of beneficial interest. Prior to the issuance of shares of each class or series, our Board of Trustees is required by Maryland law and by our declaration of trust to set, subject to the provisions of our declaration of trust regarding the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, the preferences, conversion and other rights, voting powers, restrictions, limitations as to dividends and other distributions, qualifications and terms or conditions of redemption for each class or series. Therefore, our Board of Trustees could authorize the issuance of common shares or preferred shares that have priority over our common shares as to voting rights, dividends or upon liquidation or with terms and conditions that could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for our common shares or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders. No preferred shares are presently outstanding, and we have no present plans to issue any preferred shares.
Power to Increase or Decrease Authorized Shares of Beneficial Interest and Issue Additional Common Shares and Preferred Shares
We believe that the power of our Board of Trustees to amend our declaration of trust to increase or decrease the number of authorized shares of beneficial interest, to authorize us to issue additional authorized but unissued common shares or preferred shares and to classify or reclassify unissued common shares or preferred shares and thereafter to authorize us to issue such classified or reclassified shares of beneficial interest will provide us with increased flexibility in structuring possible future financings and acquisitions and in meeting other needs that might arise. The additional classes or series, as well as the common shares, will be available for issuance without further action by our securityholders, unless such action is required by applicable law or the rules of any stock exchange or automated quotation system on which our securities may be listed or traded. Although our Board of Trustees does not intend to do so, it could authorize us to issue a class or series that could, depending upon the terms of the particular class or series, delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for our common shares or otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders.
Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer
In order to qualify as a REIT for each taxable year, our shares must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Also, no more than 50% of the value of our outstanding shares may be owned, directly or constructively, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) during the second half of any calendar year.
Because our Board of Trustees believes it is at present essential for us to qualify as a REIT, among other purposes, our declaration of trust provides that, subject to certain exceptions, no person may beneficially or constructively own under the attribution provisions of the Code, more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our shares, which we refer to as the ownership limit.
Our declaration of trust also prohibits any person from (i) beneficially or constructively owning our shares if such ownership would result in our being “closely held” under Section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of the taxable year) or would otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT, and (ii) transferring our shares after the date on which we first have 100 shareholders if such transfer would result in our capital shares being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons.
Our Board of Trustees, in its sole discretion, prospectively or retroactively, may exempt a person from the ownership limit or the other restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares described in the paragraph above and may establish or increase an excepted holder limit for such person. The person seeking an exemption must provide to our Board of Trustees any such representations, covenants and undertakings as our Board of Trustees may deem appropriate in order to conclude that granting the exemption and/or establishing or increasing an excepted holder limit, as the case may be, will not cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT. Our Board of Trustees may also require a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, or the “IRS,” or an opinion of counsel in order to determine or ensure our status as a REIT. Our Board of Trustees may from time to time increase or decrease the ownership limit, but any decreased ownership limit will not be effective for any person whose percentage ownership of our shares is in excess of the decreased ownership limit until the person’s percentage ownership of our shares equals or falls below the decreased ownership limit (although any acquisition of our shares in excess of the decreased ownership limit will be in violation of the decreased ownership limit). Our Board of Trustees may not increase the ownership limit if the increase, taking into account any excepted holder limits, would allow five or fewer individuals (including certain entities) to beneficially own more than 49.9% in value of our outstanding shares.
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Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of our shares of beneficial interest that will or may violate the ownership limit or any of the other foregoing restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, or who is the intended transferee of shares of our beneficial interest which are transferred to the trust (as described below), must give written notice immediately to us or, in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, to give at least 15 days prior written notice and must provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect of such transfer on our status as a REIT.
Any attempted transfer of our shares that, if effective, would result in a violation of any of the foregoing restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares, will cause the number of shares causing the violation (rounded up to the nearest whole share) to be automatically transferred to one or more charitable trusts for the exclusive benefit of one or more charitable beneficiaries and the proposed transferee will not acquire any rights in such shares, except that any transfer that results in the violation of the restriction relating to our shares being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons will be void ab initio. The automatic transfer will be deemed to be effective as of the close of business on the business day (as defined in our declaration of trust) prior to the date of the transfer. If, for any reason, the transfer to the trust would not be effective to prevent the violation of the foregoing restrictions, our declaration of trust provides that the purported transfer in violation of the restrictions will be void ab initio. Our shares held in the trust will be deemed to be issued and outstanding. The proposed transferee will not benefit economically from ownership of any shares held in the trust, will have no rights to dividends and no rights to vote or other rights attributable to the shares held in the trust.
The trustee of the trust will have all voting rights and rights to dividends or other distributions with respect to shares held in the trust. These rights will be exercised for the exclusive benefit of the charitable beneficiary. Any dividend or other distribution paid prior to our discovery that shares have been transferred to the trust will be paid by the recipient to the trustee upon demand. Any dividend or other distribution authorized but unpaid will be paid when due to the trustee. Any dividend or distribution paid to the trustee will be held in trust for the charitable beneficiary. Subject to Maryland law, the trustee will have the authority (i) to rescind as void any vote cast by the proposed transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust and (ii) to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary. However, if we have already taken irreversible corporate action, then the trustee will not have the authority to rescind and recast the vote.
Within 20 days of receiving notice from us that shares have been transferred to the trust, the trustee must sell the shares to a person designated by the trustee, whose ownership of the shares will not violate the above ownership and transfer limitations. Upon such sale, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee and to the charitable beneficiary as follows: The proposed transferee will receive the lesser of (i) the price paid by the proposed transferee for the shares or, if the event that resulted in the transfer to the trust did not involve a purchase of the shares at market price, the market price (as defined in our declaration of trust) of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust and (ii) the price received by the trustee from the sale or other disposition of the shares (net of any commissions and other expenses). Any net sale proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the proposed transferee will be paid immediately to the charitable beneficiary. The trustee may reduce the amount payable to the proposed transferee by the amount of dividends and other distributions paid to the proposed transferee and owed by the proposed transferee to the trustee. If, prior to our discovery that shares have been transferred to the trust, the shares are sold by the proposed transferee, then (i) the shares will be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and (ii) to the extent that the proposed transferee received an amount for the shares that exceeds the amount the proposed transferee was entitled to receive, the excess must be paid to the trustee upon demand.
In addition, shares held in the trust will be deemed to have been offered for sale to us, or our designee, at a price per share equal to the lesser of (i) the price per share in the transaction that resulted in the transfer to the trust (or, if the event that resulted in the transfer to the trust did not involve a purchase of the shares at market price, the market price of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust) and (ii) the market price on the date we accept, or our designee accepts, the offer, which we may reduce by the amount of dividends and other distributions paid to the proposed transferee and owed by the proposed transferee to the trustee and pay such amount instead to the trust for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary. We will have the right to accept the offer until the trustee has sold the shares. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold will terminate and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the proposed transferee and any dividends or other distributions held by the trustee with respect to such shares must be paid to the charitable beneficiary.
All certificated shares will bear a legend referring to the restrictions described above (or a declaration that we will furnish a full statement about certain restrictions on transferability to a shareholder on request and without charge).
Every owner of 5% or more (or such lower percentage as required by the Code or the Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder) of all classes or series of our shares, including common shares, within 30 days after the end of each taxable year,
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must give written notice to us stating the name and address of such owner, the number of shares of each class and series of our shares of beneficial interest that the owner beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each such owner must also provide to us such additional information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such beneficial ownership on our status as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares. In addition, each owner of our shares must, upon demand, provide to us such information as we may request, in good faith, in order to determine our status as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine such compliance and to ensure compliance with the ownership limit.
These ownership and transfer limitations could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our securities or might otherwise be in the best interests of our shareholders.
These restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares will not apply if our Board of Trustees determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT or that compliance is no longer required in order for us to qualify as a REIT.
Stock Exchange Listing
Our common shares are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “EARN.” As of March 31, 2021, no preferred shares were issued and outstanding.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common shares is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company LLC.
Registration Rights
In connection with our September 2012 private placement, we entered into a registration rights agreement with an affiliate of Ellington, which together with its “permitted transferees” (as such term is defined in the registration rights agreement) we sometime refer to as the “Ellington Holders,” and the Blackstone Funds, which together with their permitted transferees we sometime refer to as the “Blackstone Holders.” Under the registration rights agreement, subject to certain limitations and customary cut-back rights, we have agreed to provide the Blackstone Holders and other holders of our “registrable common shares” (as such term is defined in the registration rights agreement) who become a party to the registration rights agreement with certain demand and/or piggy-back registration and shelf takedown rights. Pursuant to the registration rights agreement, subject to certain limitations, the Blackstone Holders may at any time and from time to time demand and we will facilitate (i) up to two registered offerings of registrable common shares held by the Blackstone Holders on a registration statement other than a Form S-3 registration statement, but only if the aggregate market value of the registrable common shares held by the Blackstone Holders and included in any such registration statement equals at least $50 million, and (ii) at such time when our company is eligible to utilize a registration statement on Form S-3, a shelf registration of registrable common shares held by the Blackstone Holders. We also have agreed, upon the written request of the Blackstone Holders, but not more than once in any twelve month period, to file and seek effectiveness of a post-effective amendment to an existing shelf registration statement in order to register additional registrable common shares.
In addition, upon demand of the Blackstone Holders in accordance with the registration rights agreement, we will facilitate an unlimited number of offerings of registrable common shares off of an effective shelf registration statement, or “shelf takedown”; provided, however, that the Blackstone Holders may not demand a shelf takedown for an underwritten offering unless the registrable common shares to be sold by the Blackstone Holders in such a shelf takedown have an aggregate market value of at least $35 million; and provided further, that (i) in no event shall the Blackstone Holders be permitted to request more than two shelf takedowns that are underwritten offerings during any twelve month period and (ii) no more than one shelf takedown during any twelve month period shall be an underwritten offering other than a “block trade” offering. Subject to certain limitations, holders of registrable common shares, other than the Blackstone Holders, that are, or become a party to, the registration rights agreement will be entitled to various piggy-back rights with respect to the registration, offering or sales rights provided to the Blackstone Holders under the registration rights agreement.
Pursuant to the registration rights agreement, we may postpone the filing or initial effectiveness of, or suspend use of, a demanded registration statement or suspend the use or effectiveness of any shelf registration statement for a reasonable “blackout period” not in excess of 90 days if our Board of Trustees determines that such registration or offering could materially interfere with a bona fide business or financing transaction of our company or is reasonably likely to require premature disclosure of information, the premature disclosure of which is reasonably likely to adversely affect us. The blackout period will end upon the earlier to occur of, (i) in the case of a bona fide business or financing transaction, a date not later than
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90 days from the date such deferral commenced, and (ii) in the case of disclosure of non-public information, the earlier to occur of (x) the second business day following the filing of our next succeeding Form 10-K or Form 10-Q, or (y) the date upon which such information is otherwise disclosed. We will not be permitted to exercise a demand suspension more than once during any twelve month period.
Subject to certain exceptions, we are obligated to pay substantially all of the expenses relating to the registration or registered offerings of registrable common shares under the registration rights agreement, other than underwriters’, brokers’ and dealers’ discounts, or selling commissions and stock transfer taxes applicable to shares sold for the account of a holder, which will be borne instead by such holder. We have agreed to indemnify each selling shareholder for certain violations of federal or state securities laws in connection with any of the foregoing registration rights. In turn, each selling shareholder will agree to indemnify us for federal or state securities law violations that occur in reliance upon written information it provides to us for use in a registration statement and for failure to comply with applicable law in effecting the sale or other disposition of the securities covered by the registration statement.
The foregoing summary of certain provisions of the registration rights agreement does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, and qualified in its entirety by, all of the provisions of the registration rights agreement incorporated by reference as an exhibit to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
We are registering the resale of the common shares held by the Selling Shareholders pursuant to the registration rights agreement described above.

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CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MARYLAND LAW AND OF OUR
DECLARATION OF TRUST AND BYLAWS
Although the following summary describes certain provisions of Maryland law and of our declaration of trust and bylaws, it is not a complete description of Maryland law and our declaration of trust and bylaws, copies of which are available from us upon request. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Number of Trustees; Qualifications; Vacancies
Our declaration of trust and bylaws provide that the number of our trustees may be established by our Board of Trustees but may not be less than three nor more than the maximum number, if any, permitted under Maryland law. Our declaration of trust and bylaws also provide that, except as may be provided by our Board of Trustees in setting the terms of any class or series of shares, any and all vacancies on our Board of Trustees may be filled only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining trustees in office, even if the remaining trustees do not constitute a quorum, and any individual elected to fill such vacancy will serve for the remainder of the full term of the class in which the vacancy occurred and until a successor is duly elected and qualifies.
Each of our trustees will be elected by our shareholders to serve until the next annual meeting of shareholders until his or her successor is duly elected and qualifies. A plurality of all votes cast on the matter at a meeting of shareholders at which a quorum is present is sufficient to elect a trustee. The presence in person or by proxy of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast at a meeting constitutes a quorum.
Pursuant to the shareholders agreement between us and our initial investors, so long as our Manager remains our manager, we must nominate up to two individuals designated by Ellington for election as trustees, and so long as the Blackstone Funds and their permitted transferees continue to beneficially own, in the aggregate, more than 70% of the common shares that they owned upon completion of our initial public offering and their interest in our Manager, we must nominate one individual designated by the Blackstone Funds for election as a trustee. Under the shareholders agreement and our bylaws, while we are required to nominate their designees for election as trustees, Ellington and the Blackstone Funds have the exclusive right to designate a nominee to fill any vacancy on our Board of Trustees created by the death, removal or resignation of their respective designees. The shareholders agreement also requires that any remaining individuals nominated for election as trustees satisfy all listing requirements of the NYSE or such other national exchange on which our common shares are listed. Our bylaws provide that, in order to be qualified to be nominated for election as a trustee, or to serve as a trustee, any individual, if elected as a trustee (whether at a meeting of stockholders or to fill a vacancy on our Board of Trustees), must not cause us to violate, and must meet all other requirements specified in, the shareholders agreement.
Removal of Trustees
Our declaration of trust provides that, subject to the rights of holders of any series of preferred shares, a trustee may be removed only for “cause,” and then only by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast generally in the election of trustees. For this purpose, “cause” means, with respect to any particular trustee, conviction of a felony or a final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction holding that such trustee caused demonstrable, material harm to us through bad faith or active and deliberate dishonesty. These provisions, when coupled with the exclusive power of our Board of Trustees to fill vacancies on our Board of Trustees, generally precludes shareholders from removing incumbent trustees except for “cause” and with a substantial affirmative vote and filling the vacancies created by such removal with their own nominees.
Business Combinations
Under certain provisions of the MGCL applicable to Maryland real estate investment trusts, certain “business combinations,” including a merger, consolidation, share exchange or, in certain circumstances, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities, between a Maryland real estate investment trust and an “interested shareholder” or, generally, any person who, directly or indirectly, beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of the trust’s outstanding voting shares or an affiliate or associate of the trust who, at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding voting shares of beneficial interest of the trust, or an affiliate of such an interested shareholder, are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder. Thereafter, any such business combination must be recommended by the board of trustees of such real estate investment trust and approved by the affirmative vote of at least (a) 80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding voting shares of beneficial interest of the trust and (b) two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting shares of beneficial interest in the trust other than shares held by the interested shareholder with whom (or with whose affiliate) the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or
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associate of the interested shareholder, unless, among other conditions, the trust’s shareholders receive a minimum price (as defined in the MGCL) for their shares and the consideration is received in cash or in the same form as previously paid by the interested shareholder for its shares. Under the MGCL, a person is not an “interested shareholder” if the board of trustees approved in advance the transaction by which the person otherwise would have become an interested shareholder. A real estate investment trust’s board of trustees may provide that its approval is subject to compliance with any terms and conditions determined by it.
These provisions of the MGCL do not apply, however, to business combinations that are approved or exempted by a board of trustees prior to the time that the interested shareholder becomes an interested shareholder. Pursuant to the statute, our Board of Trustees has by resolution exempted business combinations between us and any other person from these provisions of the MGCL, provided that the business combination is first approved by our Board of Trustees, including a majority of our trustees who are not affiliates or associates of such person, and, consequently, the five year prohibition and the supermajority vote requirements will not apply to such business combinations. As a result, any person may be able to enter into business combinations with us that may not be in the best interests of our shareholders without compliance by us with the supermajority vote requirements and other provisions of the statute. This resolution, however, may be altered or repealed in whole or in part at any time. If this resolution is repealed, or our Board of Trustees does not otherwise approve a business combination, the statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
The business combination statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer.
Control Share Acquisitions
The MGCL provides that holders of “control shares” of a Maryland real estate investment trust acquired in a “control share acquisition” have no voting rights with respect to the control shares except to the extent approved by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding shares of beneficial interest in a real estate investment trust in respect of which any of the following persons is entitled to exercise or direct the exercise of the voting power of such shares in the election of trustees: (1) a person who makes or proposes to make a control share acquisition, (2) an officer of the trust or (3) an employee of the trust who is also a trustee of the trust. “Control shares” are voting shares which, if aggregated with all other such shares owned by the acquirer, or in respect of which the acquirer is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), would entitle the acquirer to exercise voting power in electing trustees within one of the following ranges of voting power: (A) one-tenth or more but less than one-third, (B) one-third or more but less than a majority or (C) a majority or more of all voting power. Control shares do not include shares that the acquirer is then entitled to vote as a result of having previously obtained shareholder approval. A “control share acquisition” means the acquisition of issued and outstanding control shares, subject to certain exceptions.
A person who has made or proposes to make a control share acquisition, upon satisfaction of certain conditions (including an undertaking to pay expenses and making an “acquiring person statement” as described in the MGCL), may compel a Maryland real estate investment trust to call a special meeting of shareholders to be held within 50 days of demand to consider the voting rights of the shares. If no request for a meeting is made, the real estate investment trust may itself present the question at any shareholders’ meeting.
If voting rights are not approved at the meeting or if the acquirer does not deliver an acquiring person statement as required by the statute, then, subject to certain conditions and limitations, the trust may redeem any or all of the control shares (except those for which voting rights have previously been approved) for fair value determined, without regard to the absence of voting rights for the control shares, as of the date of the last control share acquisition by the acquirer or of any meeting of shareholders at which the voting rights of such shares are considered and not approved. If voting rights for control shares are approved at a shareholders’ meeting and the acquirer becomes entitled to vote a majority of the shares entitled to vote, all other shareholders may exercise appraisal rights. The fair value of the shares as determined for purposes of such appraisal rights may not be less than the highest price per share paid by the acquirer in the control share acquisition.
The control share acquisition statute does not apply to (a) shares acquired in a merger, consolidation or share exchange if the trust is a party to the transaction or (b) acquisitions approved or exempted by the declaration of trust or bylaws of the trust.
Our bylaws contain a provision exempting from the control share acquisition statute any and all acquisitions by any person of our shares. There is no assurance that such provision will not be amended or eliminated at any time in the future.
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Subtitle 8
Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL permits a Maryland real estate investment trust with a class of equity securities registered under the Exchange Act and at least three independent trustees to elect to be subject, by provision in its declaration of trust or bylaws or a resolution of its board of trustees and notwithstanding any contrary provision in the declaration of trust or bylaws, to any or all of five provisions:
 
a classified board;
a two-thirds vote requirement for removing a trustee;
a requirement that the number of trustees be fixed only by vote of the trustees;
a requirement that a vacancy on the board be filled only by the remaining trustees and for the remainder of the full term of the class of trustees in which the vacancy occurred; and
a majority requirement for the calling of a special meeting of shareholders.
Our declaration of trust and bylaws are silent with respect to Subtitle 8 of Title 3 of the MGCL. However, through provisions in our declaration of trust and bylaws unrelated to Subtitle 8, we already (1) require the affirmative vote of the holders of not less than two-thirds of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter for the removal of any trustee from the board, which removal will be allowed only for cause, (2) vest in the board the exclusive power to fix the number of trusteeships, (3) require that a vacancy on the board be filled only by a majority of the remaining trustees and (4) that special meetings of shareholders may be called only by (i) the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, (ii) our Chief Executive Officer or (iii) one-third of the total authorized number of trustees.
Meetings of Shareholders
Pursuant to our declaration of trust and bylaws, a meeting of our shareholders for the purpose of the election of trustees and the transaction of any business will be held annually on a date and at the time and place set by our Board of Trustees. In addition, our chairman, chief executive officer and one-third of the total authorized number of trustees of our Board of Trustees may call a special meeting of our shareholders.
Mergers; Extraordinary Transactions
Under the MRL, a Maryland real estate investment trust generally cannot merge with another entity or convert into another entity unless advised by its board of trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a lesser percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the trust’s declaration of trust. Our declaration of trust provides that these mergers or conversions must be deemed advisable by a majority of our entire Board of Trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. Our declaration of trust also provides that we may consolidate with another entity into a new entity or sell or transfer all or substantially all of our assets if deemed advisable by a majority of our entire Board of Trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter. However, many of our operating assets will be held by our subsidiaries, and these subsidiaries may be able to sell all or substantially all of their assets or merge with another entity without the approval of our shareholders.
Amendment to Our Declaration of Trust and Bylaws
Under the MRL, a Maryland real estate investment trust generally cannot amend its declaration of trust unless advised by its board of trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast at least two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter unless a different percentage (but not less than a majority of all of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) is set forth in the trust’s declaration of trust.
Except for amendments to the provisions of our declaration of trust related to the removal of trustees and the vote required to amend the removal provision (each of which require the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast not less than two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter) and certain amendments described in our declaration of trust that require only approval by our Board of Trustees, our declaration of trust may be amended only if advised by our Board of Trustees and approved by the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.
Our Board of Trustees has the exclusive power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of our bylaws and to make new bylaws. However, while the shareholders agreement between us and our initial investors is in effect, the provisions of our
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bylaws relating to the nomination and election of trustees in accordance with the shareholders agreement may not be amended without the consent of our initial investors.
Our Termination
Our declaration of trust provides for us to have a perpetual existence. Our termination must be approved by a majority of our entire Board of Trustees and the affirmative vote of shareholders entitled to cast a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter.
Advance Notice of Trustee Nominations and New Business
Our bylaws provide that, with respect to an annual meeting of shareholders, nominations of individuals for election to our Board of Trustees at an annual meeting and the proposal of business to be considered by shareholders may be made only (1) pursuant to our notice of the meeting, (2) by or at the direction of our Board of Trustees or (3) by a shareholder of record both at the time of giving notice and at the time of the annual meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of such individual or on such other business and who has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in our bylaws. Our bylaws currently require the shareholder generally to provide notice to the secretary containing the information required by our bylaws not less than 120 days nor more than 150 days prior to the first anniversary of the date of our proxy statement for the solicitation of proxies for election of trustees at the preceding year’s annual meeting.
With respect to special meetings of shareholders, only the business specified in our notice of meeting may be brought before the meeting. Nominations of individuals for election to our Board of Trustees at a special meeting may be made only (1) by or at the direction of our Board of Trustees or (2) provided that the special meeting has been called in accordance with our bylaws for the purpose of electing trustees, by a shareholder of record both at the time of giving notice and at the time of the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting in the election of each individual so nominated and who has complied with the advance notice provisions set forth in our bylaws. Such shareholder may nominate one or more individuals, as the case may be, for election as a trustee if the shareholder’s notice containing the information required by our bylaws is delivered to the secretary not earlier than the 120th day prior to such special meeting and not later than 5:00 p.m., eastern time, on the later of (1) the 90th day prior to such special meeting or (2) the tenth day following the day on which public announcement is first made of the date of the special meeting and the proposed nominees of our Board of Trustees to be elected at the meeting.
Our declaration of trust provides that submission of any action by us to our shareholders for approval must first be approved by our Board of Trustees.
Anti-takeover Effect of Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Declaration of Trust and Bylaws
If the applicable exemption in our bylaws is repealed and the applicable resolution of our Board of Trustees is repealed, the control share acquisition provisions and the business combination provisions of the MGCL, respectively, as well as the provisions in our declaration of trust and bylaws, as applicable, on removal of trustees and the filling of trustee vacancies and the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our shares of beneficial interest, together with the advance notice and provisions of our bylaws, alone or in combination, could serve to delay, deter or prevent a transaction or a change in our control that might involve a premium price for holders of our common shares or otherwise be in their best interests.
Indemnification and Limitation of Trustees’ and Officers’ Liability
Maryland law permits a Maryland real estate investment trust to include in its declaration of trust a provision eliminating the liability of its trustees and officers to the trust and its shareholders for money damages except for liability resulting from:
 
actual receipt of an improper benefit in money, property or services, or
active or deliberate dishonesty that is established by a final judgment and is material to the cause of action.
Our declaration of trust contains a provision that eliminates the liability of our trustees and officers to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.
In addition, our declaration of trust provides that, to the maximum extent permitted by law and subject to certain exceptions, our initial shareholders and our trustees, and their affiliates (which includes the Blackstone Funds, Ellington, our trustees who are nominated by affiliates of the Blackstone Funds or Ellington and our officers who are also employees of Ellington), have no duty to refrain from competing with us, owning any investments or engaging in any business activities (including investments and business activities that are similar to our current or proposed investments or business activities) or
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buying, selling or trading any securities or commodities for their own accounts (including taking positions contrary to ours), and no such person will be liable to us or any shareholder for a conflict of interest or a breach of any duty by reason of the fact that the person participates in any such activity. Our declaration of trust also provides that, to the maximum extent permitted by law, none of our initial shareholders or trustees, or their affiliates, are required to present any business opportunity to us, and we waive any interest or expectancy in any such opportunity, unless the opportunity is expressly offered to such person in his or her capacity as a trustee or officer of us.
Our declaration of trust also authorizes us, and our bylaws require us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, to indemnify (i) any present or former trustee or officer or (ii) any individual who, while serving as our trustee or officer and at our request, serves or has served another real estate investment trust, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or any other enterprise as a trustee, director, officer, partner, member, manager, employee or agent, in either case, who is made or threatened to be made a party to or witness in the proceeding by reason of his or her service in any such capacity, from and against any claim or liability to which the individual may become subject or incur by reason of his or her service in any such capacity and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding.
Maryland law permits a Maryland real estate investment trust to indemnify and advance expenses to its trustees, officers, employees and agents to the same extent as permitted for directors and officers of Maryland corporations. Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made or threatened to be made a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that:
 
the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (i) was committed in bad faith or (ii) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty;
the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services; or
in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful.
Under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify a director or officer with respect to a proceeding brought by or on behalf of the corporation in which the director or officer was adjudged liable to the corporation or a proceeding charging improper personal benefit to the director or officer in which the director or officer was adjudged liable on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received. A court may order indemnification if it determines that the director or officer is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnification, even though the director or officer did not meet the prescribed standard of conduct or was adjudged liable on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received. However, indemnification for an adverse judgment in a suit by or on behalf of the corporation, or for a judgment of liability on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received, is limited to expenses.
In addition, the MGCL permits a Maryland corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation’s receipt of:
 
a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation; and
a written undertaking by the director or officer or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that he or she did not meet the standard of conduct.
We have entered into indemnification agreements with each of our trustees and executive officers that provide for indemnification to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law and advancement by us of expenses and costs relating to certain claims, suits or proceedings arising from their service to us.
Approval of Certain Matters by the Board of Trustees
The action of a majority of the members of our Board of Trustees present at a meeting at which a quorum is initially present is generally sufficient to approve any matter.
REIT Qualification
Our declaration of trust provides that our Board of Trustees may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without approval of our shareholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interest to continue to qualify as a REIT.

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OPERATING PARTNERSHIP AND THE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
The following summary of the terms of the agreement of limited partnership of our operating partnership does not purport to be complete and is subject to and qualified in its entirety by reference to the Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership of Ellington Residential Mortgage LP. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”
Management
Our operating partnership is organized as a Delaware limited partnership. A wholly owned subsidiary of our company is the sole general partner of our operating partnership. We conduct substantially all of our operations and make substantially all of our investments through the operating partnership and its subsidiaries. Pursuant to the partnership agreement through the general partner, we have full, exclusive and complete responsibility and discretion in the management and control of the operating partnership, including the ability to cause the operating partnership to enter into certain major transactions including investments, acquisitions, dispositions and financings (including the sale of limited partnership interests to us or to third party investors), to make distributions to partners, and to cause changes in the operating partnership’s business and investment activities.
The partnership agreement requires that the operating partnership be operated in a manner that enables us to satisfy the requirements for being classified as a REIT, to avoid any U.S. federal income or excise tax liability imposed by the Code (other than any U.S. federal income tax liability associated with our retained capital gains) and to ensure that the partnership will not be classified as a “publicly traded partnership” taxable as a corporation under Section 7704 of the Code.
Transferability of Interests
We may not voluntarily withdraw from the operating partnership or transfer or assign our interest in the operating partnership or engage in any merger, consolidation or other combination, or sale of all or substantially all of our assets in a transaction which results in a change of control of our company unless we receive the approval of the holders of our common shares in accordance with the terms of our declaration of trust and bylaws.
We also may (i) transfer all or any portion of our general partnership interest to (A) a wholly owned subsidiary or (B) a parent company or a majority-owned subsidiary of a parent company, and following such transfer may withdraw as the general partner and (ii) engage in a transaction required by law or by the rules of any national securities exchange on which our common shares are listed.
No limited partner may transfer its limited partner interests in our operating partnership:
(i) if our Board of Trustees determines that the transfer would either (x) jeopardize our ability to elect to be treated as a REIT or (y) cause our operating partnership to be treated as a publicly traded partnership within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Code;
(ii) except as contemplated pursuant to the registration rights agreement, if the transfer would require the registration of such partnership interest to be transferred pursuant to any applicable foreign, federal, provincial or state securities laws;
(iii) if the transfer would subject us, our operating partnership, any of our or operating partnership’s securityholders or any of their respective affiliates to regulation under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the fiduciary responsibility provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, or “ERISA,” or would subject us, our operating partnership, any of our or our operating partnership’s securityholders or any of their respective affiliates to regulation under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended;
(iv) if the transfer would result in a violation of any applicable law;
(v) if the transfer would require us or any of our direct or indirect subsidiaries to obtain any licensing or regulatory consent other than any such license or regulatory consent that is immaterial or ministerial in nature or that is a condition to the transfer;
(vi) if the transfer would reasonably be expected to have an adverse regulatory impact (other than an immaterial impact) on us or any of our direct or indirect subsidiaries; or
(vii) if the transfer is made to any person or entity who lacks the legal right, power or capacity to own the partnership interests or common shares issuable upon any redemption of the partnership interests.
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Capital Contribution
The partnership agreement provides that if the operating partnership requires additional funds at any time in excess of funds available to the operating partnership from borrowing or capital contributions, we may borrow such funds from a financial institution or other lender and lend such funds to the operating partnership on the same terms and conditions as are applicable to our borrowing of such funds. Under the partnership agreement, we are obligated to contribute substantially all of the net proceeds of any future offering of shares as additional capital to the operating partnership. If we contribute additional capital to the operating partnership, we will receive additional partnership units and our percentage interest will be increased on a proportionate basis based upon the amount of such additional capital contributions and the value of the operating partnership at the time of such contributions. Conversely, the percentage interests of the other limited partners will be decreased on a proportionate basis in the event of additional capital contributions by us. In addition, if we contribute additional capital to the operating partnership, we will revalue the assets of the operating partnership to its fair market value (as determined by us) and the capital accounts of the partners will be adjusted to reflect the manner in which the unrealized gain or loss inherent in such assets (that has not been reflected in the capital accounts previously) would be allocated among the partners under the terms of the partnership agreement if there were a taxable disposition of such assets for their fair market value (as determined by us) on the date of the revaluation. The operating partnership may issue preferred partnership interests, in connection with acquisitions of assets or otherwise, which could have priority over operating partnership units issued by the operating partnership, or "OP units," with respect to distributions from the operating partnership, including the OP units we own as the general partner.
Redemption Rights
Pursuant to the partnership agreement, beginning one year after the issuance of any OP units, limited partners (other than us) have redemption rights, which enable them to cause the operating partnership to redeem their OP units in exchange for cash or, at our option, our common shares on a one-for-one basis. The cash redemption amount per unit is based on the market price of our common shares at the time of redemption. The number of our common shares issuable upon redemption of limited partnership interests held by limited partners may be adjusted upon the occurrence of certain events such as share dividends, share subdivisions or combinations. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a limited partner will not be entitled to exercise its redemption rights if the delivery of common shares to the redeeming limited partner would:
 
result in any person owning, directly or indirectly, common shares in excess of the share ownership limit in our declaration of trust;
result in our common shares being owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution);
result in our being “closely held” within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code;
cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT under the Code; or
cause the acquisition of common shares by such redeeming limited partner to be “integrated” with any other distribution of common shares for purposes of complying with the registration provisions of the Securities Act.
We may, in our sole and absolute discretion, waive any of these restrictions.
Partnership Expenses
In addition to the administrative and operating costs and expenses incurred by the operating partnership, the operating partnership generally will pay all of our administrative costs and expenses, including:
 
all expenses relating to our continuity of existence and our subsidiaries’ operations;
all expenses relating to offerings and registration of securities;
all expenses associated with the preparation and filing of any of our periodic or other reports and communications under federal, state or local laws or regulations;
all expenses associated with our compliance with laws, rules and regulations promulgated by any regulatory body; and
all of our other operating or administrative costs incurred in the ordinary course of business on behalf of the operating partnership.
These expenses, however, do not include any of our administrative and operating costs and expenses incurred that are attributable to assets that are owned by us directly rather than by the operating partnership or its subsidiaries.
Fiduciary Responsibilities
Our trustees have duties under applicable Maryland law to manage us in a manner consistent with our best interests. At the same time, we, through our wholly owned subsidiary, the general partner of our operating partnership, will have fiduciary
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duties to manage our operating partnership in a manner beneficial to our operating partnership and its partners. Our duties, through our wholly owned subsidiary, as general partner to our operating partnership and its limited partners, therefore, may come into conflict with the duties of our trustees to us. We will be under no obligation to give priority to the separate interests of the limited partners of our operating partnership or our company in deciding whether to cause the operating partnership to take or decline to take any actions.
The limited partners of our operating partnership expressly acknowledge that, as the general partner of our operating partnership, our wholly owned subsidiary is acting for the benefit of the operating partnership, the limited partners and our company collectively.
Distributions
The partnership agreement provides that the operating partnership will distribute cash from operations (including net sale or refinancing proceeds, but excluding net proceeds from the sale of the operating partnership’s assets in connection with the liquidation of the operating partnership) at such time and in such amounts as determined by us in our sole discretion, to us and the limited partners in accordance with their respective percentage interests in the operating partnership.
Upon liquidation of the operating partnership, after payment of, or adequate provision for, debts and obligations of the partnership, including any partner loans, any remaining assets of the partnership will be distributed to us and the limited partners with positive capital accounts in accordance with their respective positive capital account balances.
LTIP Units
In general, the long term incentive plan units, or “LTIP units,” are a class of partnership units in our operating partnership and will receive the same quarterly per unit distributions as the other outstanding OP units in our operating partnership. Initially, each LTIP unit will have a capital account balance of zero and, therefore, will not have full parity with OP units with respect to liquidating distributions.
However, the operating partnership agreement provides that “book gain,” or economic appreciation, in our assets realized by our operating partnership as a result of the actual sale of all or substantially all of our operating partnership’s assets or the revaluation of our operating partnership’s assets as provided by applicable U.S. Department of Treasury regulations, or Treasury Regulations, will be allocated first to the LTIP unit holders until the capital account per LTIP unit is equal to the average capital account per-unit of our OP units in our operating partnership. The partnership agreement provides that our operating partnership’s assets will be revalued upon the occurrence of certain events, specifically additional capital contributions by us or other partners, the redemption of a partnership interest, a liquidation (as defined in the Treasury Regulations) of our operating partnership or the issuance of a partnership interest (including LTIP units) to a new or existing partner as consideration for the provision of services to, or for the benefit of, our operating partnership.
Upon equalization of the capital accounts of the LTIP unit holders with the average per-unit capital account of our OP units, the LTIP units will achieve full parity with the OP units for all purposes, including with respect to liquidating distributions. If such parity is reached, vested LTIP units may be converted into an equal number of OP units at any time, and thereafter enjoy all the rights of OP units. If a sale or revaluation of assets occurs at a time when our operating partnership’s assets have appreciated sufficiently since the last revaluation, the LTIP units would achieve full parity with the OP units upon such sale or revaluation. In the absence of sufficient appreciation in the value of our operating partnership’s assets at the time of a sale or revaluation, full parity would not be reached.
Consequently, an LTIP unit may never become convertible because the value of our operating partnership’s assets has not appreciated sufficiently between revaluation dates to equalize capital accounts. Until and unless parity is reached, the value for a given number of vested LTIP units will be less than the value of an equal number of our common shares.
Allocations
Profits and losses of the partnership (including depreciation and amortization deductions) for each fiscal year generally will be allocated to us and the other limited partners in accordance with the respective percentage interests in the partnership. Notwithstanding the foregoing, our operating partnership will allocate gain on the sale of all or substantially all of its assets first to holders of LTIP units, and will, upon the occurrence of certain specified events, revalue its assets with any net increase in valuation allocated first to the LTIP units, in each case to equalize the capital accounts of such holders with the average capital account per unit of the general partner’s OP units. All of the foregoing allocations are subject to compliance with the provisions of Sections 704(b) and 704(c) of the Code and Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder. To the extent Treasury
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Regulations promulgated pursuant to Section 704(c) of the Code permit, we, as the general partner, shall have the authority to elect the method to be used by the operating partnership for allocating items with respect to contributed property acquired in connection with an offering for which fair market value differs from the adjusted tax basis at the time of contribution, and such election shall be binding on all partners.
Term
The operating partnership will continue indefinitely, or until sooner dissolved upon:
 
the dissolution or our company, together with the consent of the general partner and of the limited partners holding more than 50% of the percentage interests of the limited partners;
the passage of 90 days after the sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the partnership;
the redemption of all partnership units (other than those held by us, if any); or
an election by us in our capacity as the general partner.
Registration Rights
Subject to the terms of any other agreement between the general partner of our operating partnership and a limited partner with respect to OP units held by such limited partner, a holder of our OP units will only be entitled to the registration rights set forth in that certain registration rights agreement we entered into in September 2012 with an affiliate of Ellington and the Blackstone Funds, as the same may be amended from time to time. See “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Registration Rights” for a description of the registration rights agreement.
Tax Matters
Our partnership agreement provides that our wholly owned subsidiary, as the sole general partner of the operating partnership, is the partnership representative of the operating partnership and, as such, has authority to handle tax audits and to make tax elections under the Code on behalf of the operating partnership.

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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS
This section summarizes the material U.S. federal income tax considerations that you, as a shareholder, may consider relevant. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has acted as our tax counsel, has reviewed this summary, and is of the opinion that the discussion contained herein is accurate in all material respects. Because this section is a summary, it does not address all aspects of taxation that may be relevant to particular shareholders in light of their personal investment or tax circumstances, or to certain types of shareholders that are subject to special treatment under the U.S. federal income tax laws, such as:
insurance companies;
tax-exempt organizations (except to the extent discussed in “—Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Holders” below);
financial institutions or broker-dealers;
non-U.S. individuals and non-U.S. corporations (except to the extent discussed in “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders” below);
U.S. expatriates;
persons who mark-to-market our securities;
subchapter S corporations;
U.S. shareholders (as defined below) whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar;
regulated investment companies and REITs, and their investors;
trusts and estates (except to the extent discussed herein);
persons who receive our securities through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation;
persons holding our securities as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction,” “synthetic security” or other integrated investment;
persons subject to the alternative minimum tax provisions of the Code;
persons holding our securities through a partnership or similar pass-through entity; and
persons holding a 10% or more (by vote or value) beneficial interest in our shares.

This summary assumes that shareholders hold our securities as capital assets for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which generally means as property held for investment.
The statements in this section are not intended to be, and should not be construed as, tax advice. The statements in this section are based on the Code, current, temporary and proposed Treasury regulations, the legislative history of the Code, current administrative interpretations and practices of the IRS and court decisions. The reference to IRS interpretations and practices includes the IRS practices and policies endorsed in private letter rulings, which are not binding on the IRS except with respect to the taxpayer that receives the ruling. In each case, these sources are relied upon as they exist on the date of this discussion. Future legislation, Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations and court decisions could change current law or adversely affect existing interpretations of current law on which the information in this section is based. Any such change could apply retroactively. We have not received any rulings from the IRS concerning our qualification as a REIT. Accordingly, even if there is no change in the applicable law, no assurance can be provided that the statements made in the following discussion, which do not bind the IRS or the courts, will not be challenged by the IRS or will be sustained by a court if so challenged.
WE URGE YOU TO CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER REGARDING THE SPECIFIC TAX CONSEQUENCES TO YOU OF THE PURCHASE, OWNERSHIP AND SALE OF OUR SECURITIES AND OF OUR ELECTION TO BE TAXED AS A REIT. SPECIFICALLY, YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER REGARDING THE FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL, FOREIGN, AND OTHER TAX CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH PURCHASE, OWNERSHIP, SALE AND ELECTION, AND REGARDING POTENTIAL CHANGES IN APPLICABLE TAX LAWS.
Taxation of Our Company
We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Code. We believe that we have been organized and operated in such a manner as to qualify for taxation as a REIT, and we intend to continue to operate in such a manner, but no assurances can be given that we will operate in a manner so as to remain qualified as a REIT. This section discusses the laws governing the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its shareholders. These laws are highly technical and complex.
In the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we qualified to be taxed as a REIT for our taxable year ended December 31, 2017 through our taxable year ended December 31, 2020, and our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to satisfy the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT for our taxable year ending December 31, 2021 and subsequent taxable years. Investors should be aware that Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based upon customary assumptions, is conditioned upon certain representations made by us as to factual matters, including
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representations regarding the nature of our assets and the conduct of our business, is not binding upon the IRS or any court and speaks as of the date issued. In addition, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on existing U.S. federal income tax law governing qualification as a REIT, which is subject to change either prospectively or retroactively. Moreover, our qualification and taxation as a REIT depend upon our ability to meet on a continuing basis, through actual operating results, certain qualification tests set forth in the U.S. federal income tax laws. Those qualification tests involve the percentage of income that we earn from specified sources, the percentage of our assets that fall within specified categories, the diversity of our share ownership, and the percentage of our earnings that we distribute. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP will not review our compliance with those tests on a continuing basis. Accordingly, given the complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, including the potential tax treatment of the investments we make, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, no assurance can be given that our actual results of operations for any particular taxable year will satisfy such requirements. In addition, we will be required to make estimates of, or otherwise determine the value of, our assets and the collateral for our assets, and the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. There can be no assurance that the IRS would not challenge our valuations or valuation estimates of our assets or collateral. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion does not foreclose the possibility that we may have to use one or more of the REIT relief provisions discussed below, which could require us to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be material) in order for us to maintain our REIT qualification. For a discussion of the tax consequences of our failure to qualify as a REIT, see “—Failure to Qualify.”

If we qualify as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our REIT taxable income that we currently distribute to our shareholders, but taxable income generated by any domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries, or TRSs, will be subject to regular corporate income tax. However, we will be subject to U.S. federal tax in the following circumstances:
We will pay U.S. federal income tax on our taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to shareholders during, or within a specified time period after, the calendar year in which the income is earned.

We will pay U.S. federal income tax at the highest corporate rate on:

net income from the sale or other disposition of property acquired through foreclosure, or foreclosure property, that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, and
other non-qualifying income from foreclosure property.

We will pay a 100% tax on net income earned from sales or other dispositions of property, other than foreclosure property, that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business (as described below under “—Prohibited Transactions”).

If we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as described below under “—Gross Income Tests,” but nonetheless continue to qualify as a REIT because we meet other requirements, we will be subject to a 100% tax on:

the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, multiplied, in either case, by
a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

If we fail to satisfy the asset tests (other than a de minimis failure of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test or the 10% value test, as described below under “—Asset Tests”), as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we dispose of the assets or otherwise comply with such asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify such failure and we file a schedule with the IRS describing the assets that caused such failure, we will pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the product of the highest U.S. federal corporate tax rate then applicable to U.S. corporations and the net income from the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy such asset tests.

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, and the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure, as described below under "—Failure to Qualify."

We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet recordkeeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT’s shareholders, as described below in “—Requirements for Qualification.”

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If we fail to distribute during a calendar year at least the sum of: (i) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for the year, (ii) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for the year and (iii) any undistributed taxable income from earlier periods, we will pay a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the amount we actually distributed, plus any retained amounts on which income tax has been paid at the corporate level.

We may elect to retain and pay U.S. federal income tax on our net long-term capital gain. In that case, a U.S. shareholder would be taxed on its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain (to the extent that we make a timely designation of such gain to the shareholder) and would receive a credit or refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid.

We will be subject to a 100% excise tax on transactions between us and a TRS that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis.

The earnings of any domestic TRS that we form will be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax.

If we acquire any asset from a C corporation, or a corporation that generally is subject to full corporate-level tax, in a merger or other transaction in which we acquire a basis in the asset that is determined by reference either to the C corporation’s basis in the asset or to another asset, we will pay tax at the highest regular corporate rate applicable if we recognize gain on the sale or disposition of the asset during the 5-year period after we acquire the asset. The amount of gain on which we will pay tax is the lesser of:

the amount of gain that we recognize at the time of the sale or disposition, and
the amount of gain that we would have recognized if we had sold the asset at the time we acquired it, assuming that the C corporation will not elect, in lieu of this treatment, to be subject to an immediate tax when the asset is acquired.

If we own a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or REMIC, we will be taxable at the highest corporate rate on the portion of any excess inclusion income that we derive from the REMIC residual interests equal to the percentage of our shares that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations.” Although the law is unclear, IRS guidance indicates that similar rules may apply to a REIT that owns an equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool. To the extent that we own a REMIC residual interest or a taxable mortgage pool through a TRS, we will not be subject to this tax. A “disqualified organization” includes (i) the United States; (ii) any state or political subdivision of the United States; (iii) any foreign government; (iv) any international organization; (v) any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing; (vi) any other tax-exempt organization (other than a farmer’s cooperative described in Section 521 of the Code) that is exempt from income taxation and is not subject to taxation under the unrelated business taxable income provisions of the Code; and (vii) any rural electrical or telephone cooperative. We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing activities that may result in treatment of us or a portion of our assets as a taxable mortgage pool. For a discussion of “excess inclusion income,” see “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.”

In addition, notwithstanding our qualification as a REIT, we may also have to pay certain state and local income taxes, because not all states and localities treat REITs in the same manner that they are treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Moreover, as further described below, any domestic TRS in which we own an interest will be subject to U.S. federal, state and local corporate income tax on its taxable income. In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including state and local franchise, property and other taxes and foreign taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.
Requirements for Qualification
A REIT is a corporation, trust, or association that meets each of the following requirements:
1.It is managed by one or more trustees or directors.

2.Its beneficial ownership is evidenced by transferable shares or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest.
3.It would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for the REIT provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws.

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4.It is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to special provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws.

5.At least 100 persons are beneficial owners (determined without reference to any rules of attribution) of its shares or ownership certificates.

6.Not more than 50% in value of its outstanding shares or ownership certificates is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals, which the U.S. federal income tax laws define to include certain entities, during the last half of any taxable year.

7.It elects to be taxed as a REIT, or has made such election for a previous taxable year, and satisfies all relevant filing and other administrative requirements that must be met to elect and maintain REIT qualification.

8.It meets certain other qualification tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the distribution of its income.

9.It uses the calendar year as its taxable year.

10.It has no earnings and profits from any non-REIT taxable year at the close of any taxable year.

We must meet requirements 1 through 4, 8 and 9 during our entire taxable year and must meet requirement 5 during at least 335 days of a taxable year of twelve months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than twelve months. If we comply with all the requirements for ascertaining the ownership of our outstanding shares in a taxable year and have no reason to know that we violated requirement 6, we will be deemed to have satisfied requirement 6 for that taxable year. For purposes of determining share ownership under requirement 6, an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefits plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes. An “individual” generally does not include a trust that is a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust under the U.S. federal income tax laws, however, and beneficiaries of such a trust will be treated as holding our shares in proportion to their actuarial interests in the trust for purposes of requirement 6.
We believe that we have issued shares with sufficient diversity of ownership to satisfy requirements 5 and 6. In addition, our declaration of trust restricts the ownership and transfer of our shares so that we should continue to satisfy these requirements. These restrictions, however, may not ensure that we will, in all cases, be able to satisfy these share ownership requirements. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, our qualification as a REIT may terminate. The provisions of our declaration of trust restricting the ownership and transfer of the shares are described under the heading “Description of Our Shares of Beneficial Interest—Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”
To monitor compliance with the share ownership requirements, we generally are required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our shares. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our shares pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the shares (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If you fail or refuse to comply with the demands, you will be required by U.S. Treasury regulations to submit a statement with your tax return disclosing your actual ownership of our shares and other information. In addition, we must satisfy all relevant filing and other administrative requirements established by the IRS to elect and maintain REIT qualification, use a calendar year for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and comply with the record keeping requirements of the Code and regulations promulgated thereunder.

Qualified REIT Subsidiaries
A corporation that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary” is disregarded as a corporation separate from its parent REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. All assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of a qualified REIT subsidiary are treated as assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of the REIT. A qualified REIT subsidiary is a corporation, other than a TRS, all of the shares of which is owned, directly or through one or more qualified REIT subsidiaries or disregarded entities, by the REIT. Thus, in applying the requirements described herein, all assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of any qualified REIT subsidiary that we own will be treated as our assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit.
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Other Disregarded Entities and Partnerships
An unincorporated domestic entity, such as a limited liability company, that has a single owner for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is not treated as an entity separate from its parent for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the REIT gross income and asset tests. An unincorporated domestic entity with two or more owners for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT that is a partner in a partnership that has other partners, the REIT is treated as owning its proportionate share of the assets of the partnership and as earning its allocable share of the gross income of the partnership for purposes of the applicable REIT qualification tests. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets, liabilities, and items of income of any partnership, joint venture, or limited liability company that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes in which we acquire an equity interest, directly or indirectly, are treated as our assets and gross income for purposes of applying the various REIT qualification requirements. Our proportionate share of the partnership's assets for purposes of applying the 10% value test (see “—Asset Tests”) will be based on our proportionate interest in the equity interests and certain debt securities issued by the partnership in which we acquire an interest. For all of the other asset and income tests, our proportionate share will be based on our proportionate interest in the capital interests in such partnership.

In the event that a disregarded subsidiary of ours ceases to be wholly-owned, for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of ours, the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, the subsidiary would have multiple owners for U.S. federal income tax purposes and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation (if previously a qualified REIT subsidiary). Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income requirements applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the total value or total voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Gross Income Tests.”
Taxable REIT Subsidiaries
A REIT is permitted to own up to 100% of the stock of one or more TRSs. A TRS is a fully taxable corporation that may earn income that would not be qualifying income if earned directly by the parent REIT. The subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation with respect to which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the outstanding securities will automatically be treated as a TRS. However, an entity will not qualify as a TRS if it directly or indirectly operates or manages a lodging or health care facility or, generally, provides to another person, under a franchise, license or otherwise, rights to any brand name under which any lodging facility or health care facility is operated. We generally may not own more than 10%, as measured by voting power or value, of the securities of a corporation that is not a qualified REIT subsidiary or a REIT unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a TRS. Overall, no more than 20% (25% for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2018) of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRSs.
The separate existence of a TRS or other taxable corporation, unlike a disregarded subsidiary as discussed above, is not ignored for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, a domestic TRS would generally be subject to U.S. federal, state and local corporate income tax on its earnings, which may reduce the cash flow generated by us and our subsidiaries in the aggregate and our ability to make distributions to our shareholders.
For the purposes of the asset and gross income tests, a REIT is not treated as holding the assets of a TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporation or as receiving any income that the subsidiary earns. Rather, the stock issued by the subsidiary is an asset in the hands of the REIT, and the REIT generally recognizes as income the dividends, if any, that it receives or is deemed to receive from such TRS. This treatment can affect the gross income and asset test calculations that apply to the REIT, as described below. Because a parent REIT does not include the assets and income of such subsidiary corporations in determining the parent REIT’s compliance with the REIT requirements, such entities may be used by the parent REIT to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude it from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries or render commercially unfeasible (for example, activities that give rise to certain categories of income such as non-qualifying hedging income or inventory sales).
Certain restrictions imposed on TRSs are intended to ensure that such entities will be subject to appropriate levels of U.S. federal income taxation. If amounts are paid to a REIT or deducted by a TRS due to transactions between a REIT, its tenants and/or a TRS, that exceed the amount that would be paid to or deducted by a party in an arm’s-length transaction, the REIT generally will be subject to an excise tax equal to 100% of such excess. We intend that all of our transactions with any TRS that we form will be conducted on an arm’s- length basis, but there can be no assurance that we will be successful in this regard. The ability of our TRSs to deduct interest expense may be limited under rules applicable to corporations generally.
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We may form or invest in domestic or foreign TRSs in the future. Any domestic TRS would be fully subject to U.S. federal, state, and local corporate income tax on its taxable income. To the extent that our TRSs pay any taxes, they will have less cash available for distribution to us. If dividends are paid by domestic TRSs to us, then the dividends we designate and pay to our shareholders who are taxed at individual rates, up to the amount of dividends that we receive from such entities, generally will be eligible to be taxed at the reduced maximum federal rate applicable to qualified dividend income. See “—Taxation of U.S. Holders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on Distributions on Shares.” In addition, losses in our TRSs generally will not provide any tax benefit, except for being carried forward against future TRS taxable income in the case of a domestic TRS.

Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income
An entity, or a portion of an entity, that does not elect to be treated as a REMIC may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool under the Code if:
substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations;

more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgage loans or interests in real estate mortgage loans as of specified testing dates;

the entity has issued debt obligations that have two or more maturities; and

the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.

Under applicable Treasury regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consists of debt obligations, these debt obligations are not considered to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a taxable mortgage pool.
A taxable mortgage pool generally is treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes and cannot be included in any consolidated U.S. federal corporate income tax return. However, if a REIT is a taxable mortgage pool, or if a REIT owns a qualified REIT subsidiary that is a taxable mortgage pool, then the REIT or the qualified REIT subsidiary will not be taxable as a corporation, but a portion of the REIT’s income will be treated as “excess inclusion income” and a portion of the dividends the REIT pays to its shareholders will be considered to be excess inclusion income. Similarly, a portion of the income from a REMIC residual interest may be treated as excess inclusion income. A shareholder’s share of excess inclusion income (i) would not be allowed to be offset by any losses otherwise available to the shareholder, (ii) would be subject to tax as unrelated business taxable income, or UBTI, in the hands of most types of shareholders that are otherwise generally exempt from U.S. federal income tax, and (iii) would result in the application of U.S. federal income tax withholding at the maximum rate (30%), without reduction under any otherwise applicable income tax treaty, to the extent allocable to most types of foreign shareholders. IRS guidance indicates that a REIT’s excess inclusion income will be allocated among its shareholders in proportion to its dividends paid. However, the manner in which excess inclusion income would be allocated to dividends attributable to a tax year that are not paid until a subsequent tax year or to dividends attributable to a portion of a tax year when no excess inclusion income-generating assets were held or how such income is to be reported to shareholders is not clear under current law. Although the law is unclear, the IRS has taken the position that a REIT is taxable at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of any excess inclusion income that it derives from an equity interest in a taxable mortgage pool equal to the percentage of its shares that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations” (as defined above under “—Taxation of Our Company”). Similar rules apply if we own a residual interest in a REMIC. If as a result of ownership by “disqualified organizations,” we are subject to tax on any excess inclusion income, under our declaration of trust, we will reduce distributions to such shareholders by the amount of tax paid by us that is attributable to such shareholder’s ownership. Treasury regulations provide that such a reduction in distributions does not give rise to a preferential dividend that could adversely affect our compliance with the distribution requirement. See “—Distribution Requirements.” To the extent that shares owned by “disqualified organizations” are held by a broker or other nominee, the broker/dealer or other nominees would be liable for a tax at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of our excess inclusion income allocable to the shares held by the broker/dealer or other nominee on behalf of the “disqualified organizations.” A regulated investment company or other pass-through entity owning our shares will be subject to tax at the highest corporate tax rate on any excess inclusion income allocated to its record name owners that are “disqualified organizations.” We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests (other than through a TRS) or engage in financing activities that may result in treatment of us or a portion of our assets as a taxable mortgage pool.
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Gross Income Tests
We must satisfy two gross income tests annually to qualify and maintain our qualification as a REIT.
First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year must consist of defined types of income that we derive, directly or indirectly, from investments relating to real property or mortgage loans on real property or qualified temporary investment income. Qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test generally includes:
rents from real property;

interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property and interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property and personal property if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, and interest on qualified mezzanine loans;

dividends or other distributions on, and gain from the sale of, shares in other REITs;

gain from the sale of real estate assets;

abatements and refunds on taxes on real property;

income and gain derived from foreclosure property (as described below);

amounts (other than amounts the determination of which depends in whole or in part on the income or
profits of any person) received or accrued as consideration for entering into agreements (i) to make loans
secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property or (ii) to purchase or lease real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property);

income derived from a REMIC in proportion to the real estate assets held by the REMIC, unless at least 95% of the REMIC’s assets are real estate assets, in which case all of the income derived from the REMIC; and

income derived from the temporary investment of new capital that is attributable to the issuance of our shares or a public offering of our debt with a maturity date of at least five years and that we receive during the one-year period beginning on the date on which we received such new capital.

Although a debt instrument issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) is treated as a “real estate asset” for the asset tests, the interest income and gain from the sale of such debt instruments is not treated as qualifying income for the 75% gross income test unless the debt instrument is secured by real property or an interest in real property.
Second, in general, at least 95% of our gross income for each taxable year must consist of income that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test (except for income derived from the temporary investment of new capital), other types of interest and dividends, gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities or any combination of these.
Certain income items do not qualify for either gross income test. Other types of income are excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in one or both of the gross income tests. For example, gross income from the sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, income and gain from “hedging transactions,” as defined in “—Hedging Transactions,” and gross income attributable to cancellation of indebtedness, or COD, income will be excluded from both the numerator and the denominator for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. In addition, certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests (see “—Foreign Currency Gain”). For purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, we are treated as receiving our proportionate share of the gross income of any partnership or disregarded entity we own (including the gross income of our operating partnership). We will monitor the amount of our non-qualifying income and will seek to manage our investment portfolio to comply at all times with the gross income tests, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful in this effort. The following paragraphs discuss the specific application of the gross income tests to us.
Dividends
Our share of any dividends received from any corporation (including dividends from any TRS we may form, but excluding any REIT) in which we own an equity interest will qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test but not for purposes of the
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75% gross income test. Our share of any dividends received from any other REIT in which we own an equity interest, if any, will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests.
Interest and Income from Mortgage-Backed Securities
The term “interest,” as defined for purposes of both gross income tests, generally excludes any amount that is based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, interest generally includes the following:
an amount that is based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales; and

an amount that is based on the income or profits of a debtor, as long as the debtor derives substantially all of its income from the real property securing the debt from leasing substantially all of its interest in the property, and only to the extent that the amounts received by the debtor would be qualifying “rents from real property” if received directly by a REIT.

If a loan contains a provision that entitles a REIT to a percentage of the borrower’s gain upon the sale of the real property securing the loan or a percentage of the appreciation in the property’s value as of a specific date, income attributable to that loan provision will be treated as gain from the sale of the property securing the loan, which generally is qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property in the hands of the borrower or the REIT.
Interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property or on interests in real property, including, for this purpose, market discount, original issue discount, discount points, prepayment penalties, loan assumption fees and late payment charges that are not compensation for services, generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of a loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property (including, for loans secured by real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property is less than 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, such personal property) securing the loan as of (i) the date the REIT agreed to originate or acquire the loan or (ii) as discussed below, in the event of a “significant modification,” the date we modified the loan, a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. However, in the case of a loan that is secured by both real property and personal property, if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property securing the loan, then the personal property securing the loan will be treated as real property for purposes of determining whether the interest on such loan is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test.

We intend to continue to invest primarily in Agency residential mortgage backed securities, or Agency RMBS, including both pass-through certificates and collateralized mortgage obligations, or CMOs, and, to a lesser extent, non-Agency RMBS CMOs, and we may invest directly in residential mortgage loans. Other than income from derivative instruments, as described below, we expect that all of the income of our Agency RMBS, non-Agency RMBS and residential mortgage loans will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. In the case of RMBS treated as interests in a grantor trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. The interest on such mortgage loans and any residential mortgage loans that we own directly would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is adequately secured (or solely secured) by real property, as discussed above. Accordingly, we intend to treat residential mortgage loans underlying Agency RMBS as “real estate assets” and the income derived therefrom as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In the case of RMBS treated as regular interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, income derived from REMIC interests will generally be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test. We believe that all of the income that we derive from interests in Agency REMICs will be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include imbedded interest rate swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holders of the related REMIC securities. We expect that any interest income from an RMBS that is not treated as an interest in a grantor trust or an interest in a REMIC will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. We expect that a sufficient portion of our income from our Agency RMBS, non-Agency RMBS and residential mortgage loans will be qualifying income so that we will satisfy both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. However, there can be no assurance that we will satisfy both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.
We purchase and sell Agency MBS through to-be-announced forward contracts, or “TBAs,” and recognize income or gains from the disposition of those TBAs, through dollar roll transactions or otherwise. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of income or gains from dispositions of TBAs as gains from the sale of real property (including
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interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property) or other qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we treat income and gains from our TBAs under which we contract to purchase a to-be-announced Agency MBS (“long TBAs”) as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, based on an opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the 75% gross income test, any gain recognized by us in connection with the settlement of our long TBAs should be treated as gain from the sale or disposition of an interest in mortgages on real property. The opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is based on various assumptions related to our long TBAs and is conditioned on fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our long TBAs. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that our income and gain from TBAs is not qualifying income. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs. We will treat any income from short TBAs that were not identified as hedging transactions as non-qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test.
We have made an election under Section 475(f) of the Code to mark our securities to market effective as of January 1, 2021. There are limited authorities under Section 475(f) of the Code as to what constitutes a trader for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Under other sections of the Code, the status of a trader in securities depends on all of the facts and circumstances, including the nature of the income derived from the taxpayer’s activities, the frequency, extent and regularity of the taxpayer’s securities transactions, and the taxpayer’s investment intent. There can be no assurance that we will continue to qualify as a trader in securities eligible to make the mark-to-market election. We have not received, nor are we seeking, an opinion from counsel or a ruling from the IRS regarding our qualification as a trader. If our qualification for, or our application of, the mark-to-market election were successfully challenged by the IRS, in whole or in part, it could, depending on the circumstances, result in retroactive (or prospective) changes in the amount or timing of gross income we recognize. As a result of our election under Section 475(f) of the Code, we will be required each year to mark-to-market certain securities that we hold, and thereby recognize gain or loss as if we had sold those securities for their fair market value. As part of the transition to a mark-to-market election, we will take into account under Section 481(a) of the Code unrealized gains and losses existing at December 31, 2021 with respect to such securities. The mark-to-market election also requires us to recognize any accrued market discount on our debt securities held at the end of each year. Because we will be required to recognize gain or loss each year, we may have income without any corresponding cash (unless we actually sell the security). While there is limited analogous authority, we intend to treat any of our mark-to-market gains as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the gain is recognized with respect to a qualifying real estate asset, based on an opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP substantially to the effect that any such gains recognized with respect to assets that would produce qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and/or 95% gross income test, as applicable, if they were actually sold should be treated as qualifying income to the same extent for purposes of the 75% and/or 95% gross income test, as applicable. The opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is based on various assumptions and is conditioned on fact-based representations and covenants. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that any mark-to-market gains were not qualifying income. Furthermore, the law is unclear as to the treatment of mark-to-market gains and losses under the various REIT tax rules, including, among others, the prohibited transaction and qualified liability hedging rules. There are limited and, in some cases, no authorities on the interaction of a REIT engaged in the trade or business of trading in securities, the election under Section 475(f) of the Code, the qualified liability hedging rules and the REIT tax rules. If the IRS were to successfully treat our mark-to-market gains as subject to the prohibited transaction tax or to successfully challenge the treatment or timing of recognition of our mark-to-market gains or losses with respect to our qualified liability hedges, our distribution requirement could increase, or we could owe a material penalty tax. See “—Failure to Qualify” in the Prospectus.
Although we have not yet acquired distressed mortgage loans, we may acquire distressed mortgage loans in the future. Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides that that the IRS will treat distressed mortgage loans acquired by a REIT that are secured by real property and other property as producing, in part, non-qualifying income for the 75% gross income test. Specifically, Revenue Procedure 2014-51 indicates that interest income on such a distressed mortgage loan will be treated as qualifying income based on the ratio of: (i) the fair market value of the real property securing the debt determined as of the date the REIT committed to acquire the loan; and (ii) the face amount of the loan (and not the purchase price or current value of the loan). The face amount of a distressed mortgage loan will typically exceed the fair market value of the real property securing the mortgage loan on the date the REIT commits to acquire the loan. As noted above, if a mortgage is secured by both real property and personal property and the value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the aggregate value of the property securing the mortgage, the mortgage is treated as secured solely by real property for this purpose. We expect that most of the mortgage loans that we may acquire at a discount under the circumstances contemplated by Revenue Procedure 2014-51 would be secured only by real property (including mortgage loans secured by both real property and personal property where the value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the aggregate value of the property securing the mortgage). Accordingly, we believe that the interest apportionment regulation generally would not apply to such loans. Nevertheless, if we did acquire distressed mortgage loans, and if the IRS were to assert successfully that such mortgage loans were secured by other property and, thus, that the interest apportionment rules and Revenue Procedure 2014-51 applied, our ability to satisfy the various asset
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and gross income requirements applicable to REITs could be adversely affected. To the extent we invest in distressed mortgage loans, we intend to do so in a manner consistent with maintaining our qualification as a REIT.

We may modify the term of any residential mortgage loans we acquire. Under the Code, if the terms of a loan are modified in a manner constituting a “significant modification,” such modification triggers a deemed exchange of the original loan for the modified loan. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which we will not be required to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan for purposes of the gross income and asset tests in connection with a loan modification that is (i) occasioned by a borrower default or (ii) made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. To the extent we significantly modify loans in a manner that does not qualify for that safe harbor, we will be required to redetermine the value of the real property securing the loan at the time it was significantly modified, which could result in a portion of the interest income on the loan being treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test and a portion of the value of our interest in the loan being treated as a non-qualifying asset for the 75% asset test. In determining the value of the real property securing such a loan, we generally will not obtain third-party appraisals but rather will rely on internal valuations.
We may invest opportunistically in other types of mortgage and real estate-related assets. To the extent we invest in such assets, we intend to do so in a manner that will enable us to satisfy the 75% and 95% gross income tests described above.
Hedging Transactions
From time to time, we will enter into “hedging transactions” with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Our hedging activities may include entering into interest rate swaps, caps, and floors, options to purchase these items, short U.S. treasury positions, futures and forward contracts and short TBAs. Except to the extent provided by Treasury Regulations, income and gain from hedging transactions will be excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests provided we satisfy the identification requirements and other requirements discussed below. A hedging transaction includes (i) any transaction entered into in the normal course of our trade or business primarily to manage the risk of interest rate changes, price changes, or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, or a “liability hedge,” which is clearly identified as specified in U.S. Treasury regulations before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated or entered into, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, (ii) any transaction entered into primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests (or any property which generates such income or gain) or (iii) any transaction entered into to “offset” a transaction described in (i) or (ii) if a portion of the hedged indebtedness is extinguished or the related property is disposed. We are required to clearly identify any such hedging transaction before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into and satisfy other identification requirements. We are required to match the tax character and timing of income, deduction, gain or loss from hedging transactions as closely as possible with the tax character and timing of income, deduction, gain or loss from the item or items being hedged, but there is limited authority on the interaction of these rules with an election under Section 475(f) of the Code. To the extent that we hedge for other purposes, or to the extent that a portion of the hedged assets are not treated as “real estate assets” (as described below under “—Asset Tests”), or we enter into derivative transactions that are not liability hedges or we fail to satisfy the identification requirements with respect to a hedging transaction, the income from the related transactions will likely be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests, and thus cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income.

We intend to structure any hedging transactions so that they are excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, including the satisfaction of the identification, tax character matching and other requirements described above, but these requirements involve the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only limited judicial and administrative authorities exist, and we cannot assure you that that the IRS will not successfully assert a contrary position. We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities through a TRS or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. No assurance can be given, however, that our hedging activities will not give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of either or both of the REIT gross income tests, or that our hedging activities will not adversely affect our ability to satisfy the REIT qualification requirements.

Even if the income from our hedging transactions is excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, such income and any loss will be taken into account in determining our REIT taxable income and our distribution requirement. If the IRS disagrees with our calculation of the amount or timing of recognition of gain or loss with respect to our hedging transactions, including the treatment and timing of hedging expense and losses under Section 163(f) of the Code and IRS Treasury Regulations section 1.446-4(b), our distribution requirement could increase, which could require that we correct any shortfall in distributions by paying deficiency dividends to our stockholders in a later year.

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Fee Income
We may earn income from fees in certain circumstances. Fee income generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if it is received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property, the fees are not determined by income and profits and the fees are not compensation for services. Other fees, including certain amounts received in connection with mortgage servicing rights, generally are not qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test, and thus cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income. We may conduct some or all of our fee-generating activities through a TRS or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Any fees earned by a TRS, like other income earned by a TRS, will not be included in our gross income for purposes of the gross income tests.

Foreign Currency Gain
Certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. “Real estate foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Real estate foreign exchange gain generally includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations secured by mortgages on real property or an interest in real property and certain foreign currency gain attributable to certain “qualified business units” of a REIT. “Passive foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Passive foreign exchange gain generally includes real estate foreign exchange gain as described above, and also includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test and foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations. These exclusions for real estate foreign exchange gain and passive foreign exchange gain do not apply to foreign currency gain derived from dealing, or engaging in substantial and regular trading, in securities. Such gain is treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.
Rents from Real Property
We do not currently own and have no current intention to acquire real property or an interest therein in the future. To the extent that we acquire real property or an interest therein, rents we receive will qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income requirements for a REIT described above only if the following conditions are met:
First, the amount of rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. An amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded, however, from rents from real property solely by reason of being based on fixed percentages of receipts or sales.

Second, rents we receive from a “related party tenant” will not qualify as rents from real property in satisfying the gross income tests unless the tenant is a TRS, at least 90% of the property is leased to unrelated tenants, the rent paid by the TRS is substantially comparable to the rent paid by the unrelated tenants for comparable space and the rent is not attributable to an increase in rent due to a modification of a lease with a “controlled TRS” (i.e., a TRS in which we own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the voting power or value of the stock). A tenant is a related party tenant if the REIT, or an actual or constructive owner of 10% or more of the REIT, actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the tenant.

Third, if rent attributable to personal property, leased in connection with a lease of real property, is greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease, then the portion of rent attributable to the personal property will not qualify as rents from real property.

Fourth, we generally must not operate or manage our real property or furnish or render services to our tenants, other than through an “independent contractor” who is adequately compensated and from whom we do not derive revenue. We may, however, provide services directly to tenants if the services are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not considered to be provided for the tenants’ convenience. In addition, we may provide a minimal amount of “non-customary” services to the tenants of a property, other than through an independent contractor, if the greater of (i) the amounts received or accrued, directly or indirectly, or deemed received by the REIT with respect to such services, or (ii) 150% of our direct cost in furnishing or rendering the services during a taxable year is not more than 1% of our income from the related property. Furthermore, we may own up to 100% of the stock of a TRS, which may provide customary and non-customary services to tenants without tainting our rental income from the related properties.

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Prohibited Transactions
A REIT will incur a 100% tax on the net income (including foreign currency gain) derived from any sale or other disposition of property, other than foreclosure property, but including mortgage loans or MBS, that the REIT holds “primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business.” Any such income will be excluded from the application of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Whether a REIT holds an asset primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business depends on the facts and circumstances in effect from time to time, including those related to a particular asset. We believe that none of our assets will be held primarily for sale to customers and that a sale of any of our assets will not be in the ordinary course of our business. In addition, we have made an election under Section 475(f) of the Code to mark our securities to market. While there is limited analogous authority, we do not treat mark-to-market gains that we recognize pursuant to Section 475(f) of the Code as gains from the sale of property to customers in the ordinary course of business, based on an opinion from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP substantially to the effect that any such gains should not be subject to the prohibited transactions tax. The opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is based on various assumptions and is conditioned on fact-based representations and covenants. No assurance, however, can be given that the IRS will not successfully assert a contrary position, in which case we would be subject to the prohibited transaction tax on the sale of those assets. We might be subject to this tax if we dispose of or securitize mortgage loans or MBS in a manner that was treated as dealer activity for U.S. federal income tax purposes. To the extent we intend to dispose of an asset that may be treated as held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business, we may contribute the asset to a TRS prior to the disposition, the income from which may then be subject to U.S. federal, state and local corporate income tax. However, no assurance can be given that the IRS will respect the transaction by which property that may be characterized as held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business is contributed to a TRS; if such transaction is not respected, then we may be treated as having engaged in a prohibited transaction, and our net income therefrom would be subject to a 100% tax.

Foreclosure Property
We will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any income (including foreign currency gain) from foreclosure property, other than income that otherwise would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, less expenses directly connected with the production of that income. Gross income from foreclosure property will qualify, however, under the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Foreclosure property is any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:
that is acquired by a REIT as the result of the REIT having bid on such property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced such property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default or default was imminent on a lease of such property or on indebtedness that such property secured;

for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when the default was not imminent or anticipated; and

for which the REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property.

A REIT will not be considered, however, to have foreclosed on a property where the REIT takes control of the property as a mortgagee-in-possession and cannot receive any profit or sustain any loss except as a creditor of the mortgagor. Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is granted by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. This grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:
on which a lease is entered into for the property that, by its terms, will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test (disregarding income from foreclosure property), or any amount is received or accrued, directly or indirectly, pursuant to a lease entered into on or after such day that will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test (disregarding income from foreclosure property);

on which any construction takes place on the property, other than completion of a building or any other improvement, where more than 10% of the construction was completed before default became imminent; or

which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business that is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income or a TRS.

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Failure to Satisfy Gross Income Tests
If we fail to satisfy one or both of the gross income tests for any taxable year, we nevertheless may qualify as a REIT for that year if we are entitled to qualify for relief under certain provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws. Those relief provisions generally will be available if:
our failure to meet those tests is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect; and

following such failure for any taxable year, a schedule of the sources of our income is filed with the IRS in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

We cannot with certainty predict whether any failure to meet these tests will qualify for the relief provisions. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances involving us, we will not qualify as a REIT. As discussed above in “—Taxation of Our Company,” even if the relief provisions apply, we would incur a 100% tax on the gross income attributable to the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, multiplied, in either case, by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.
Asset Tests
To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we also must satisfy the following asset tests at the end of each quarter of each taxable year.
First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must consist of:
cash or cash items, including certain receivables and investments in money market funds;

government securities;

interests in real property, including leaseholds and options to acquire real property and leaseholds, and personal property to the extent such personal property is leased in connection with real property and rents attributable to such personal property are treated as “rents from real property” as a result of such rents not exceeding 15% of the total rent attributable to personal property and real property under such lease;

interests in mortgage loans secured by real property and interests in mortgage loans secured by real property and personal property if the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of such real and personal property;

stock in other REITs and debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs” (however, see the sixth asset test below);

investments in stock or debt instruments during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt with at least a five-year term; and

regular or residual interests in a REMIC. However, if less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consist of assets that are qualifying real estate-related assets under the U.S. federal income tax laws, determined as if we held such assets, we will be treated as holding directly our proportionate share of the assets of such REMIC.
Second, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, the value of our interest in any one issuer’s securities (other than any TRS we may own) may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets (the “5% asset test”).
Third, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, we may not own more than 10% of the total voting power or 10% of the total value of any one issuer’s outstanding securities (the “10% vote test” and the “10% value test,” respectively).
Fourth, no more than 20% (25% for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2018) of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of one or more TRSs.
Fifth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of TRSs and other non-TRS taxable subsidiaries and other assets that are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test (the “25% securities test”).
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Sixth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of debt instruments issued by “publicly offered REITs” to the extent such debt instruments are not secured by real property or interests in real property.
For purposes of these asset tests, we are treated as holding our proportionate share of the assets of any partnership and disregarded entity that we own, including our operating partnership. For purposes of the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test and the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include stock in another REIT, debt of “publicly offered REITs,” equity or debt securities of a qualified REIT subsidiary or TRS, mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities that constitute real estate assets, or equity interests in a partnership. The term securities, however, generally includes debt securities issued by a partnership or another REIT (other than a “publicly offered REIT”), except that, for purposes of the 10% value test, the term “securities” does not include:
“straight debt” securities, which is defined as a written unconditional promise to pay on demand or on a specified date a sum certain in money if (i) the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock, and (ii) the interest rate and interest payment dates are not contingent on profits, the borrower’s discretion, or similar factors. “Straight debt” securities do not include any securities issued by a partnership or a corporation in which we or any “controlled TRS” hold non-“straight” debt securities that have an aggregate value of more than 1% of the issuer’s outstanding securities. However, “straight debt” securities include debt subject to the following contingencies:

a contingency relating to the time of payment of interest or principal, as long as either (i) there is no change to the effective yield of the debt obligation, other than a change to the annual yield that does not exceed the greater of 0.25% or 5% of the annual yield, or (ii) neither the aggregate issue price nor the aggregate face amount of the issuer’s debt obligations held by us exceeds $1 million and no more than twelve months of unaccrued interest on the debt obligations can be required to be prepaid; and

a contingency relating to the time or amount of payment upon a default or prepayment of a debt obligation, as long as the contingency is consistent with customary commercial practice;

any loan to an individual or an estate;

any “section 467 rental agreement,” other than an agreement with a related party tenant;
any obligation to pay “rents from real property”;

certain securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of (or payments made by) a non-governmental entity;

any security (including debt securities) issued by another REIT;

any debt instrument of an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes in which we are a partner to the extent of our proportionate interest in the equity and certain debt securities issued by that partnership; or

any debt instrument of an entity treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes not described in the preceding bullet points if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income, excluding income from prohibited transactions, is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test described above in “—Gross Income Tests.”

For purposes of the 10% value test, our proportionate share of the assets of a partnership is our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, without regard to the securities described in the last two bullet points above.
We intend to continue to invest primarily in Agency RMBS and, to a lesser extent, non-Agency RMBS that are pass- through certificates or CMOs, and we may invest directly in residential mortgage loans. In the case of RMBS treated as interests in a grantor trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we will be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. Such mortgage loans, and any residential mortgage loans that we own directly, will generally qualify as real estate assets for purposes of the 75% asset test to the extent that they are secured by real property as described in the following paragraph. In the case of RMBS treated as regular interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, such interests will generally qualify as real estate assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. If less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC qualifies as a real estate asset for purposes of the REIT asset test. To the extent any of our investments in Agency RMBS are not treated as real estate assets, we expect such Agency RMBS will be treated as Government securities (and, therefore, as
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qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test) because they are issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the United States or by a person controlled or supervised by and acting as an instrumentality of the government of the United States pursuant to authority granted by the Congress of the United States. Our investments in non-Agency RMBS that are not interests in a grantor trust or REMIC or Government securities will not be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test and will be subject to the 5% asset test, the 10% value test, the 10% vote test and the 25% securities test described above.
We may also invest directly in residential mortgage loans, including distressed loans. As discussed above under “—Gross Income Tests,” under the applicable Treasury regulations, if a mortgage is secured by both real property and other property, a REIT is required to apportion its annual interest income to the real property security based on a fraction, the numerator of which is the value of the real property securing the loan, determined when the REIT commits to acquire the loan (or, in some circumstances, upon a “significant modification”), and the denominator of which is the highest “principal amount” of the loan during the year. If a mortgage is secured by both real property and personal property and the value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the aggregate value of the property securing the mortgage, the mortgage is treated as secured solely by real property for this purpose. Although the law is not entirely clear, if apportionment of interest is required, a portion of the loan will also likely be a non-qualifying asset for purposes of the 75% asset test. As noted above, we expect that most of the mortgage loans that we may acquire at a discount under the circumstances contemplated by Revenue Procedure 2014-51 would be secured only by real property (including mortgage loans secured by both real property and personal property where the value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the aggregate value of the property securing the mortgage). Accordingly, we believe that the interest apportionment rules and Revenue Procedure 2014-51 generally would not apply to such loans. Nevertheless, if we did acquire distressed mortgage loans, and if the IRS were to assert successfully that such mortgage loans were secured by other property and, thus, that the interest apportionment rules and Revenue Procedure 2014-51 applied, our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income requirements applicable to REITs could be adversely affected. For loans secured by real property and other property, Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor under which the IRS has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the fair market value of the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (ii) the greater of (a) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (b) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the date the REIT committed to originate or acquire the loan. It is unclear how the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2014-51 is affected by the subsequent legislative changes regarding the treatment of loans secured by both real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the sum of the fair market values of the real property and personal property securing the loan. To the extent we invest in residential mortgage loans (including distressed loans), we intend to do so in a manner consistent with qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT.
We enter into repurchase agreements under which we nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets in exchange for a purchase price that reflects a financing charge. Based on positions the IRS has taken in analogous situations, we believe that these transactions would be treated as secured debt, and that we would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that would be the subject of such agreements, notwithstanding that such agreements may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own our assets subject to sale and repurchase agreements during the term of such agreements, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
We purchase Agency RMBS through TBAs. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of TBAs as real estate assets or U.S. government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test, we treat our long TBAs as qualifying assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests, based on an opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP substantially to the effect that for purposes of the REIT asset tests, our ownership of a long TBA should be treated as ownership of real estate assets. The opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is based on various assumptions related to our long TBAs and is conditioned on fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our long TBAs. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that our long TBAs are not qualifying assets. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs. We will treat short TBAs as non-qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% gross asset test.
Derivative instruments, other than possibly long TBAs as discussed in the prior paragraph, generally are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. Thus, derivative instruments such as interest rate swaps, futures contracts, short TBAs and other similar instruments, even if used in and identified as “hedging transactions” as described in “—Hedging Transactions,” are non-qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. Therefore, we will limit our investment in such derivative instruments and any other non-qualifying assets to no more than 25% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter.
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As discussed above, we may invest opportunistically in other types of mortgage-related assets. To the extent we invest in such assets, we intend to do so in a manner that will enable us to satisfy each of the asset tests described above. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to satisfy the asset tests described above. We will monitor the status of our assets for purposes of the various asset tests and seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with such tests. No assurance, however, can be given that we will continue to be successful in this effort. In this regard, to determine our compliance with these requirements, we will have to value our investment in our assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests. Although we seek to be prudent in making these estimates, no assurances can be given that the IRS might not disagree with these determinations and assert that a different value is applicable, in which case we might not satisfy the 75% asset test and the other asset tests and, thus, would fail to qualify as a REIT.
If we fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a calendar quarter, we will not lose our REIT qualification so long as:
we satisfied the asset tests at the end of the preceding calendar quarter; and

the discrepancy between the value of our assets and the asset test requirements arose from changes in the market values of our assets and was not wholly or partly caused by the acquisition of one or more non-qualifying assets.

If we did not satisfy the condition described in the second item, above, we still could avoid disqualification by eliminating any discrepancy within 30 days after the close of the calendar quarter in which it arose.
If we violate the 5% asset test, the 10% vote test or the 10% value test described above at the end of any calendar quarter, we will not lose our REIT qualification if (i) the failure is de minimis (up to the lesser of 1% of the total value of our assets or $10 million) and (ii) we dispose of assets causing the failure or otherwise comply with the asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identified such failure. In the event of a more than de minimis failure of any of the asset tests, as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, we will not lose our REIT qualification if we (i) dispose of assets or otherwise comply with the asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identified such failure, (ii) file a schedule with the IRS describing the assets that caused such failure in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and (iii) pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the product of the highest U.S. federal corporate tax rate and the net income from the non-qualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy the asset tests. If the IRS were to determine that we failed the 5% asset test or 75% asset test because contracts for forward settling transactions are not qualifying assets, it is possible that the IRS would not consider our position taken with respect to such assets, and accordingly our failure to satisfy the 5% asset test or 75% asset test, to be due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect. If the IRS were to successfully assert these positions, we would fail to qualify as a REIT. See “—Failure to Qualify.” Accordingly, it is not possible to state whether we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions with regard to this issue or in any other circumstances. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances involving us, we will fail to qualify as a REIT.
We believe that the Agency RMBS, non-Agency RMBS, and other assets that we hold will satisfy the foregoing asset test requirements. We will monitor the status of our assets and our future acquisition of assets to ensure that we comply with those requirements, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful in this effort. No independent appraisals will be obtained to support our estimates of and conclusions as to the value of our assets and securities, or in many cases, the real estate collateral for the mortgage loans that support our Agency RMBS and non-Agency RMBS. Moreover, the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. As a result, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not contend that our ownership of securities and other assets violates one or more of the asset tests applicable to REITs.
Distribution Requirements
Each taxable year, we must distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends and deemed distributions of retained capital gain, to our shareholders in an aggregate amount at least equal to:
the sum of

90% of our “REIT taxable income,” computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain, and

90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property, minus

the sum of certain items of non-cash income.

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We must make such distributions in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if either (i) we declare the distribution before we timely file our U.S. federal income tax return for the year and pay the distribution on or before the first regular dividend payment date after such declaration or (ii) we declare the distribution in October, November or December of the taxable year, payable to shareholders of record on a specified day in any such month, and we actually pay the dividend before the end of January of the following year. The distributions under clause (i) are taxable to the shareholders in the year in which paid, and the distributions in clause (ii) are treated as paid on December 31 of the prior taxable year to the extent of undistributed earnings and profits as of December 31 of the prior taxable year. In both instances, these distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement.
If we cease to be a "publicly offered REIT," then in order for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT-level tax deduction, our distributions must not be considered to be “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not considered to be a preferential dividend if the distribution is (i) pro-rata among all outstanding shares within a particular class and (ii) in accordance with the preferences among different classes of shares as set forth in our organizational documents.
We will pay U.S. federal income tax on taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to shareholders. Furthermore, if we fail to distribute during a calendar year, or by the end of January following the calendar year in the case of distributions with declaration and record dates falling in the last three months of the calendar year, at least the sum of:
85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year,

95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year, and

any undistributed taxable income from prior periods,

we will incur a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the amounts we actually distribute.
We may elect to retain and pay income tax on the net long term capital gain we recognize in a taxable year. See “—Taxation of U.S. Holders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on Distributions on Capital Shares.” If we so elect, we will be treated as having distributed any such retained amount for purposes of the REIT distribution requirements and the 4% nondeductible excise tax described above. We believe we have made, and intend to make in the future, timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the annual distribution requirements and to avoid corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax.
It is possible that, from time to time, we may experience timing differences between the actual receipt of cash, including distributions from our subsidiaries, and actual payment of deductible expenses and the inclusion of that income and deduction of such expenses in arriving at our REIT taxable income. Possible examples of those timing differences include the following:
Because we may deduct capital losses only to the extent of our capital gains, we may have taxable income that exceeds our economic income.

We will recognize taxable income in advance of the related cash flow with respect to our investments that are deemed to have original issue discount. We generally must accrue original issue discount based on a constant yield method that takes into account projected prepayments but that defers taking into account credit losses until they are actually incurred.

We have elected to mark our securities to market under Section 475(f) of the Code. As a result, we will recognize income each year without any corresponding cash (unless the asset is actually sold during the year).

We may acquire investments that are treated as having “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes, because the investments are debt instruments that we acquire for an amount less than their principal amount. As a result of our election under Section 475(f) of the Code, we will be required to include some market discount in income currently, even if no cash is received. The recognition of market discount upon receipt of principal payments results in an acceleration of the recognition of taxable income to periods prior to the receipt of the related economic income. Further, to the extent that such an investment does not fully amortize according to its terms, we may never receive the economic income attributable to previously recognized market discount.

Although several types of non-cash income are excluded in determining the annual distribution requirement, we will incur corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax with respect to those non-cash income items if we do not distribute
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those items on a current basis. As a result of the foregoing, we may have less cash than is necessary to distribute all of our taxable income and thereby avoid corporate income tax and the excise tax imposed on certain undistributed income. In such a situation, we may need to borrow funds, sell assets or make taxable distributions of our shares or debt securities.
We may satisfy the 90% distribution test with taxable distributions of our shares or debt securities. The IRS has issued a revenue procedure authorizing "publicly offered REITs" to treat certain distributions that are paid partly in cash and partly in shares as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for federal income tax purposes. As a “publicly offered REIT,” as long as at least 20% (10% until December 31, 2020) of the total dividend is available in cash and certain other requirements are satisfied, the IRS will treat the share distribution as a dividend (to the extent applicable rules treat such distribution as being made out of our earnings and profits). We have no current intention to make a taxable dividend payable partly in cash and partly in our shares.

Determination of our REIT taxable income involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only limited judicial and administrative authorities exist. If the IRS disagrees with our determination, it could affect our satisfaction of the distribution requirements. Under certain circumstances, we may be able to correct a failure to meet the distribution requirement for a year by paying “deficiency dividends” to our shareholders in a later year. We may include such deficiency dividends in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. Although we may be able to avoid income tax on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends, we will be required to pay interest and may be required to pay a penalty to the IRS based upon the amount of any deduction we take for deficiency dividends.
Recordkeeping Requirements
We must maintain certain records in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT. In addition, to avoid a monetary penalty, we must request on an annual basis information from our shareholders designed to disclose the actual ownership of our outstanding shares. We believe we have complied, and intend to continue to comply, with these requirements.
Failure to Qualify
If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, we could avoid disqualification if our failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. In addition, there are relief provisions for a failure of the gross income tests and asset tests, as described in “—Gross Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests.”
If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, and no relief provision applies, we would be subject to U.S. federal income tax and, including, for taxable years prior to 2018, any applicable alternative minimum tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. Further, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, we might need to borrow money or sell assets in order to pay any resulting tax. Our payment of income tax would decrease the amount of our income available for distribution to our shareholders. In calculating our taxable income in a year in which we fail to qualify as a REIT, we would not be able to deduct amounts paid out to shareholders. In fact, we would not be required to distribute any amounts to shareholders in that year. In such event, to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, all distributions to shareholders would be taxable as ordinary income. Subject to certain limitations of the U.S. federal income tax laws, corporate shareholders might be eligible for the dividends received deduction and shareholders taxed at individual rates might be eligible for the reduced U.S. federal income tax rate applicable to such dividends. In addition, subject to the limitations of the Code, corporate distributions may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Our failure to qualify as a REIT could impair our ability to expand our business and raise capital, and it would adversely affect the value of our capital shares. Unless we qualified for relief under specific statutory provisions, we also would be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which we ceased to qualify as a REIT. We cannot predict whether in all circumstances we would qualify for such statutory relief.
Taxation of the Operating Partnership
Our operating partnership currently is a disregarded entity because we own 100% of the interests in it, directly or through other disregarded entities. If we admit other limited partners, our operating partnership will be treated as a partnership for tax purposes, as described below.
Under the Code, a partnership generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax, but is required to file a partnership tax information return each year. In general, the character of each partner’s share of each item of income, gain, loss, deduction, credit, and tax preference is determined at the partnership level. Each partner is then allocated a distributive share of such items in accordance with the partnership agreement and is required to take such items into account in determining such partner’s income. Each partner includes such amount in income for any taxable year of the partnership ending within or with the taxable
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year of the partner, without regard to whether the partner has received or will receive any cash distributions from the partnership. Cash distributions, if any, from a partnership to a partner generally are not taxable unless and to the extent they exceed the partner’s basis in its partnership interest immediately before the distribution. Any amounts in excess of such tax basis will generally be treated as a sale or exchange of such partner’s interest in the partnership.
If and when our operating partnership becomes taxable as a partnership, rather than a disregarded entity, we generally will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as contributing our assets to the operating partnership at such time. If our assets are appreciated at such time, we could recognize a smaller share of tax depreciation, and a larger share of tax gain on sale, from such properties subsequent to that deemed contribution, as compared to our percentage interest in the operating partnership. This deemed contribution also could trigger tax gain in some circumstances, but we expect to structure the admission of outside partners in a manner that should avoid any such gain.
As noted above, for purposes of the REIT income and asset tests, we are treated as receiving or holding our proportionate share of our operating partnership’s income and assets, respectively. We control, and intend to continue to control, our operating partnership and intend to operate it consistently with the requirements for our qualification as a REIT.
We may issue equity compensation to employees in the form of interests in our operating partnership that provide for capital gain treatment to the employees but do not generate a corresponding deduction for our operating partnership.
The discussion above assumes that our operating partnership will be treated as a “partnership” for U.S. federal income tax purposes once it is no longer treated as a disregarded entity. Generally, a domestic unincorporated entity with two or more partners is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes unless it affirmatively elects to be treated as a corporation. However, certain “publicly traded partnerships” are treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Once our operating partnership is no longer a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we intend to comply with one or more exceptions to treatment of our operating partnership as a corporation under the publicly traded partnership rules. Failure to qualify for such an exception would prevent us from qualifying as a REIT.
Taxation of U.S. Holders
The term “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital shares that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, is:
a citizen or resident of the United States;

a corporation (including an entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized under the laws of the United States, any of its States or the District of Columbia;

an estate whose income is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

any trust if (i) a U.S. court is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of such trust and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (ii) it has a valid election in place to be treated as a U.S. person.

If a partnership, entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes holds our capital shares, the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend on the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership and certain determinations made at the partner level. If you are a partner in a partnership holding our capital shares, you should consult your tax advisor regarding the consequences of the purchase, ownership and disposition of our capital shares by the partnership.
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on Distributions on Capital Shares
As long as we qualify as a REIT, a taxable U.S. holder must generally take into account as ordinary income distributions made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits that we do not designate as capital gain dividends or retained long-term capital gain. For purposes of determining whether a distribution is made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to our preferred share dividends, if any, and then to our common share dividends. A U.S. holder will not qualify for the dividends received deduction generally available to corporations.
For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, individuals, trusts and estates may deduct a portion of certain pass-through income, including ordinary REIT dividends that are not “capital gain dividends” or “qualified dividend income,” subject to certain limitations (the “pass-through deduction”). To qualify for the pass-through deduction, the shareholder receiving such dividend must hold the dividend-paying REIT shares for at least 46 days (taking into account certain special
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holding period rules) of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become ex-dividend, and cannot be under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in substantially similar or related property.

In addition, dividends paid to a U.S. Holder generally will not qualify for the federal income tax rate applicable to “qualified dividend income.” Qualified dividend income generally includes dividends paid to U.S. holders taxed at individual rates by domestic taxable C corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations. Because we are not generally subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of our REIT taxable income distributed to our shareholders (see “—Taxation of Our Company” above), our dividends paid to a U.S. holder generally will not be eligible for the tax rate applicable to qualified dividend income.
As a result, our ordinary REIT dividends will be taxed at the tax rate applicable to ordinary income. However, the tax rate for qualified dividend income will apply to our ordinary REIT dividends (i) attributable to dividends received by us from certain non-REIT corporations (e.g., dividends from any domestic TRSs), and (ii) to the extent attributable to income upon which we have paid corporate income tax (e.g., to the extent that we distribute less than 100% of our taxable income). In general, to qualify for the reduced tax rate on qualified dividend income, a U.S. holder must hold our shares for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date that is 60 days before the date on which our capital shares become ex-dividend. Individuals, trusts and estates whose income exceeds certain thresholds are also subject to a 3.8% Medicare tax on dividends received from us.
A U.S. holder generally will take into account distributions that we properly designate as capital gain dividends as long-term capital gain, to the extent that they do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year, without regard to the period for which the U.S. holder has held our capital shares. A corporate U.S. holder may, however, be required to treat a portion of certain capital gain dividends as ordinary income.
We may elect to retain and pay income tax on the net long-term capital gain that we recognize in a taxable year. In that case, to the extent we designate such amount on a timely notice to such shareholder, a U.S. holder would be taxed on its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain. The U.S. holder would receive a credit or refund for its proportionate share of the tax we paid. The U.S. holder would increase the basis in its capital shares by the amount of its proportionate share of our undistributed long-term capital gain, minus its share of the tax we paid.
A U.S. holder will not incur tax on a distribution in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if the distribution does not exceed the adjusted basis of the U.S. holder’s capital shares. Instead, the distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of such capital shares. A U.S. holder will recognize a distribution in excess of both our current and accumulated earnings and profits and the U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in his or her capital shares as long-term capital gain, or short-term capital gain if the capital shares have been held for one year or less, assuming the capital shares are a capital asset in the hands of the U.S. holder. In addition, if we declare a distribution in October, November or December of any year that is payable to a U.S. holder of record on a specified date in any such month, such distribution, to the extent of undistributed earnings and profits as of December 31 of such year, shall be treated as both paid by us and received by the U.S. holder on December 31 of such year, provided that we actually pay the distribution during January of the following calendar year, as described in “—Distribution Requirements.”
Shareholders may not include in their individual income tax returns any of our net operating losses or capital losses. Instead, these losses are generally carried over by us for potential offset against our future income or capital gains. Such carry forwards do not reduce earnings and profits in the year of offset.
Taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital shares will not be treated as passive activity income and, therefore, a U.S. holder generally will not be able to apply any “passive activity losses,” such as losses from certain types of limited partnerships in which such U.S. holder is a limited partner, against such income. In addition, taxable distributions from us and gain from the disposition of our capital shares generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment interest limitations. We will notify shareholders after the close of our taxable year as to the portions of the distributions attributable to that year that constitute ordinary income, return of capital and capital gain.
We may recognize taxable income in excess of our economic income, known as phantom income, in the first years that we hold certain investments, and experience an offsetting excess of economic income over our taxable income in later years. As a result, U.S. holders at times may be required to pay U.S. federal income tax on distributions taxable as dividends that economically represent a return of capital rather than a dividend. These distributions would be offset in later years by distributions that would be treated as returns of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Taking into account the time value of money, this acceleration of U.S. federal income tax liabilities may reduce a U.S. holder’s after-tax return on his or her investment to an amount less than the after-tax return on an investment with an identical before-tax rate of return that did not generate phantom income. For example, if an investor with a 30% tax rate purchases a taxable bond with an annual interest rate of 10% on its face value, the investor’s before-tax return on the investment would be 10% and the investor’s after-tax return
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would be 7%. However, if the same investor purchased our common shares at a time when the before-tax rate of return was 10%, the investor’s after-tax rate of return on such common shares might be somewhat less than 7% as a result of our phantom income. In general, as the ratio of our phantom income to our total income increases, the after-tax rate of return received by a taxable U.S. holder will decrease.
To the extent that we have available net operating losses and capital losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may, subject to limitations, reduce the amount of distributions that must be made in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. See “—Taxation of Our Company” and “—Distribution Requirements.” Such losses, however, are not passed through to U.S. holders and do not offset income of U.S. holders from other sources, nor do they affect the character of any distributions that are actually made by us, which are generally subject to tax in the hands of U.S. holders to the extent that we have current or accumulated earnings and profits.
If excess inclusion income from a taxable mortgage pool or REMIC residual interest is allocated to any U.S. holder, that income will be taxable in the hands of the U.S. holder and would not be offset by any net operating losses of the U.S. holder that would otherwise be available. See “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” As required by IRS guidance, we would notify our shareholders if a portion of a dividend paid by us is attributable to excess inclusion income. We intend to avoid generating excess inclusion income for our shareholders.
Taxation of Taxable U.S. Holders on the Disposition of Capital Shares
In general, a U.S. holder who is not a dealer in securities must treat any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of our capital shares as long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. holder has held such capital shares for more than one year and otherwise as short-term capital gain or loss. In general, a U.S. holder will realize gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between the sum of the fair market value of any property and the amount of cash received in such disposition and the U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis. A holder’s adjusted tax basis generally will equal the U.S. holder’s acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. holder (discussed above) less tax deemed paid by such U.S. holder on such gains and reduced by any returns of capital. However, a U.S. holder must treat any loss upon a sale or exchange of capital shares held by such holder for six months or less as a long-term capital loss to the extent of capital gain dividends and any other actual or deemed distributions from us that such U.S. holder treats as long term capital gain. All or a portion of any loss that a U.S. holder realizes upon a taxable disposition of our capital shares may be disallowed if the U.S. holder purchases our capital shares (or substantially similar capital shares) within 30 days before or after the disposition.
Capital Gains and Losses
A taxpayer generally must hold a capital asset for more than one year for gain or loss derived from its sale or exchange to be treated as long-term capital gain or loss. U.S. holders are taxed at the applicable individual rates for long-term capital gains for sales and exchanges of assets held for more than one year. The rate may also depend on whether the U.S. Holder recognizes long-term capital gain from the sale or exchange of “Section 1250 property” (i.e., generally, depreciable real property), to the extent the gain would have been treated as ordinary income if the property were “Section 1245 property” (i.e., generally, depreciable personal property). We must classify portions of our designated capital gain dividend as either a distribution taxable to non-corporate U.S. holders at long-term capital gains rates or an unrecaptured section 1250 gain distribution taxable at the rate then applicable to unrecaptured depreciation. The IRS currently requires that distributions made to different classes of stock be composed proportionately of dividends of a particular type. Individuals, trusts and estates whose income exceeds certain thresholds are also subject to a 3.8% Medicare tax on gain from the sale of our capital shares.

With respect to distributions that we designate as capital gain dividends and any retained capital gain that we are deemed to distribute, we will designate whether such a distribution is taxable to U.S. holders taxed at applicable individual rates. Thus, the tax rate differential between capital gain and ordinary income for those taxpayers may be significant. In addition, the characterization of income as capital gain or ordinary income may affect the deductibility of capital losses, including capital losses recognized upon the disposition of our shares. A non-corporate taxpayer may deduct capital losses not offset by capital gains against its ordinary income only up to a maximum annual amount of $3,000. A non-corporate taxpayer may carry forward unused capital losses indefinitely. A corporate taxpayer must pay tax on its net capital gain at ordinary corporate rates. A corporate taxpayer may deduct capital losses only to the extent of capital gains, with unused losses being carried back three years and forward five years.
Information Reporting Requirements and Withholding
We or the applicable withholding agent will report to U.S. holders and to the IRS the amount and the tax character of distributions we pay during each calendar year, and the amount of tax we withhold, if any. Under the backup withholding rules, a U.S. holder may be subject to the applicable backup withholding rate with respect to distributions unless such holder:
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is a corporation or comes within certain other exempt categories and, when required, demonstrates this fact; or

provides a taxpayer identification number, certifies as to no loss of exemption from backup withholding, and otherwise complies with the applicable requirements of the backup withholding rules.

A U.S. holder who does not provide the applicable withholding agent with its correct taxpayer identification number also may be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. Any amount paid as backup withholding will be creditable against the U.S. holder’s income tax liability. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be refunded or credited against the U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability if certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS. U.S. holders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding application of backup withholding to them and the availability of, and procedure for obtaining an exemption from, backup withholding. In addition, the applicable withholding agent may be required to withhold a portion of distributions to any U.S. holders who fail to certify their U.S. status. Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends received by U.S. holders who own our capital shares through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of amounts withheld.
Taxation of Tax-Exempt U.S. Holders
Tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from U.S. federal income taxation. They are subject, however, to taxation on their UBTI. While many investments in real estate generate UBTI, the IRS has issued a ruling that dividend distributions from a REIT to an exempt employee pension trust do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, amounts that we distribute to tax-exempt shareholders generally should not constitute UBTI so long as our capital shares are not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business. However, if a tax-exempt shareholder were to finance its investment in our capital shares with debt, a portion of the income that it receives from us would constitute UBTI pursuant to the “debt-financed property” rules. In addition, our dividends that are attributable to excess inclusion income will constitute UBTI in the hands of most tax-exempt shareholders. See “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” However, we intend to avoid generating excess inclusion income for our shareholders. Moreover, social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts and qualified group legal services plans that are exempt from taxation under special provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions that they receive from us as UBTI. Finally, in certain circumstances, a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust that owns more than 10% of our shares must treat a percentage of the dividends that it receives from us as UBTI. Such percentage is equal to the gross income we derive from an unrelated trade or business, determined as if we were a pension trust, divided by our total gross income for the year in which we pay the dividends. That rule applies to a pension trust holding more than 10% of our shares only if:
the percentage of our dividends that the tax-exempt trust must treat as UBTI is at least 5%;

we qualify as a REIT by reason of the modification of the rule requiring that no more than 50% of our shares be owned by five or fewer individuals that allows the beneficiaries of the pension trust to be treated as holding our shares in proportion to their actuarial interests in the pension trust; and

either:

one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our shares; or

A group of pension trusts individually holding more than 10% of the value of our shares collectively owns more than 50% of the value of our shares.

However, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our capital shares are designed to, among other things, prevent a tax-exempt entity from owning more than 10% of the value of our capital shares, thus making it unlikely that we will become a pension-held REIT. Tax-exempt U.S. holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign tax consequences of owning our capital shares.

Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders
The term “non-U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our capital shares that is not a U.S. holder or a partnership (or an entity or arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes). The rules governing U.S. federal income
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taxation of nonresident alien individuals, foreign corporations, foreign partnerships and other foreign holders are complex. This section is only a summary of such rules. We urge non-U.S. holders to consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of U.S. federal, state and local income tax laws on ownership of our capital shares, including any reporting requirements.
The portion of distributions received by non-U.S. holders payable out of our earnings and profits that are not attributable to gains from sales or exchanges of “United States real property interests” (as defined below) and which are not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. holder will generally be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless reduced or eliminated by an applicable income tax treaty. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. Our dividends that are attributable to excess inclusion income will be subject to the 30% withholding tax, without reduction for any otherwise applicable income tax treaty. See “—Requirements for Qualification—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.” We intend to avoid generating excess inclusion income for our shareholders. If a distribution is treated as effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the distribution will not incur the 30% withholding tax, but the non-U.S. holder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the distribution at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. holders are taxed on distributions and also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax in the case of a corporate non-U.S. holder. In general, non-U.S. holders will not be considered to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business solely as a result of their ownership of our capital shares. It is expected that the applicable withholding agent will withhold U.S. income tax at the rate of 30% on the gross amount of any distribution that we do not designate as a capital gain distribution or retained capital gain and is paid to a non-U.S. holder unless either:
a lower treaty rate applies and the non-U.S. holder files with the applicable withholding agent an IRS Form W‑8BEN or W‑8BEN-E evidencing eligibility for that reduced rate, or

the non-U.S. holder files with the applicable withholding agent an IRS Form W‑8ECI claiming that the distribution is effectively connected income.

Capital gain dividends received or deemed received by a non-U.S. holder from us that are not attributable to gain from our sale or exchange of “United States real property interests,” as defined below, are generally not subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless either (1) the non-U.S. holder’s investment in our capital shares is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. holder (in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. holders with respect to such gain) or (2) the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the U.S. (in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gain for the year).
A non-U.S. holder will not incur tax on a distribution on the capital shares in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if the excess portion of the distribution does not exceed the adjusted tax basis of its capital shares. Instead, the excess portion of the distribution will reduce such non-U.S. holder’s adjusted tax basis of its capital shares. A non-U.S. holder will be subject to tax on a distribution that exceeds both our current and accumulated earnings and profits and the adjusted basis of its capital shares, if the non-U.S. holder otherwise would be subject to tax on gain from the sale or disposition of its capital shares, as described below. Because we generally cannot determine at the time we make a distribution whether the distribution will exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, it is expected that the applicable withholding agent normally will withhold tax on the entire amount of any distribution at the same rate applicable to withholding on a dividend. However, a non-U.S. holder may obtain a refund of amounts that the applicable withholding agent withheld if we later determine that a distribution in fact exceeded our current and accumulated earnings and profits.
Under FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends paid on our capital shares received by non-U.S. holders or U.S. holders who own our capital shares through foreign accounts or foreign intermediaries if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. If payment of withholding taxes is required, non-U.S. holders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. withholding taxes with respect to such dividends and proceeds will be required to seek a refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit of such exemption or reduction. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of any amounts withheld.

For any year in which we qualify as a REIT, a non-U.S. holder may incur tax on distributions that are attributable to gain from our sale or exchange of “United States real property interests” under special provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws known as the “Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980,” or FIRPTA. The term “United States real property interests” includes interests in real property and shares in corporations at least 50% of whose assets consist of interests in real property. The term “United States real property interests” generally does not include residential mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities such as Agency RMBS or non-Agency RMBS. As a result, we do not anticipate that we will generate material amounts of gain that would be subject to FIRPTA. Under the FIRPTA rules, a non-U.S. holder is taxed on distributions attributable to gain from sales of United States real property interests as if the gain were effectively connected with a U.S.
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business of the non-U.S. holder. A non-U.S. holder thus would be taxed on such a distribution at the normal capital gain rates applicable to U.S. holders, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of a nonresident alien individual. A non-U.S. corporate holder not entitled to treaty relief or exemption also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax on such a distribution. Unless a non-U.S. holder qualifies for the exception described in the next paragraph, the applicable withholding agent must withhold 21% of any such distribution that we could designate as a capital gain dividend. A non-U.S. holder may receive a credit against such holder’s tax liability for the amount withheld.
Capital gain distributions on our capital shares that are attributable to our sale of real property will be treated as ordinary dividends, rather than as gain from the sale of a United States real property interest, as long as (i) (a) the applicable class of our capital shares is “regularly traded” on an established securities market in the United States and (b) the non-U.S. holder does not own more than 10% of the applicable class of our capital shares during the one-year period preceding the distribution date or (ii) the non-U.S. holder was treated as a “qualified shareholder” or “qualified foreign pension fund.” A “qualified shareholder” is a foreign person that (i) either is eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty which includes an exchange of information program and whose principal class of interests is listed and regularly traded on one or more recognized stock exchanges (as defined in such comprehensive income tax treaty), or is a foreign partnership that is created or organized under foreign law as a limited partnership in a jurisdiction that has an agreement for the exchange of information with respect to taxes with the United States and has a class of limited partnership units representing greater than 50% of the value of all the partnership units that is regularly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, or National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, or NASDAQ, markets, (ii) is a qualified collective investment vehicle, and (iii) maintains records on the identity of each person who, at any time during the foreign person’s taxable year, is the direct owner of 5% or more of the class of interests or units (as applicable) described in (i), above.
As a result, non-U.S. holders generally would be subject to withholding tax on such capital gain distributions in the same manner as they are subject to withholding tax on ordinary dividends. We believe our common shares currently are treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States. If the applicable class of our capital shares is not regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States or the non-U.S. holder owned more than 10% of the applicable class of our capital shares at any time during the one-year period prior to the distribution, capital gain distributions that are attributable to our sale of real property generally would be subject to tax under FIRPTA. Moreover, if a non-U.S. holder disposes of our capital shares during the 30-day period preceding a dividend payment, and such non-U.S. holder (or a person related to such non-U.S. holder) acquires or enters into a contract or option to acquire our capital shares within 61 days of the 1st day of the 30 day period described above, and any portion of such dividend payment would, but for the disposition, be treated as a United States real property interest capital gain to such non-U.S. holder, then such non-U.S. holder will be treated as having United States real property interest capital gain in an amount that, but for the disposition, would have been treated as United States real property interest capital gain.
A non-U.S. holder generally will not incur tax under FIRPTA with respect to gain realized upon a disposition of our capital shares as long as we are not a United States real property holding corporation during a specified testing period. If at least 50% of a REIT’s assets are United States real property interests, then the REIT will be a United States real property holding corporation. We do not anticipate that we will be a United States real property holding corporation based on our investment strategy. In the unlikely event that at least 50% of the assets we hold were determined to be United States real property interests, gains from the sale of our capital shares by a non-U.S. holder could be subject to a FIRPTA tax. However, even if that event were to occur, a non-U.S. holder generally would not incur tax under FIRPTA on gain from the sale of our capital shares if we were a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity.” A domestically controlled qualified investment entity includes a REIT in which, at all times during a specified testing period, less than 50% in value of its shares are held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. persons. We believe that we likely are a domestically controlled qualified investment entity, and that a sale of our capital shares would not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA. However, we do not intend to maintain records to determine whether we are a domestically controlled qualified investment entity for this purpose and no assurance can be given that we are or will remain a domestically controlled qualified investment entity.
If the applicable class of our capital shares are regularly traded on an established securities market in the United States, an additional exception to the tax under FIRPTA on gain from share sales will be available, even if we do not qualify as a domestically controlled qualified investment entity at the time the non-U.S. holder sells our capital shares. Under that exception, the gain from such a sale by such a non-U.S. holder will not be subject to tax under FIRPTA if:
the applicable class of our capital shares is considered regularly traded under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations on an established securities market, such as the NYSE; and

the non-U.S. holder owned, actually or constructively, 10% or less of the applicable class of our shares at all times during a specified testing period.
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As noted above, we believe our common shares are currently treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market. If the gain on the sale of our capital shares were taxed under FIRPTA, a non-U.S. holder would be taxed on that gain in the same manner as U.S. holders, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals.
Backup withholding will generally not apply to payments of dividends made by us or our paying agents, in their capacities as such, to a non-U.S. holder provided that the non-U.S. holder furnishes to the applicable withholding agent the required certification as to its non-U.S. status, such as providing a valid IRS Form W‑8BEN, W‑8BEN-E or W‑8ECI, or certain other requirements are met. Notwithstanding the foregoing, backup withholding may apply if the applicable withholding agent has actual knowledge, or reason to know, that the holder is a U.S. person that is not an exempt recipient. Payments of the net proceeds from a disposition or a redemption effected outside the United States by a non-U.S. holder made by or through a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, information reporting (but not backup withholding) generally will apply to such a payment if the broker has certain connections with the U.S. unless the broker has documentary evidence in its records that the beneficial owner is a non-U.S. holder and specified conditions are met or an exemption is otherwise established. Payment of the net proceeds from a disposition by a non-U.S. holder of capital shares made by or through the U.S. office of a broker is generally subject to information reporting and backup withholding unless the non-U.S. holder certifies under penalties of perjury that it is not a U.S. person and satisfies certain other requirements, or otherwise establishes an exemption from information reporting and backup withholding.
Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be refunded or credited against the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability if certain required information is timely furnished to the IRS. Non-U.S. holders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding application of backup withholding to them and the availability of, and procedure for obtaining an exemption from, backup withholding.
Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs
The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and Treasury, which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. Additional changes to the tax laws are likely to continue to occur. We cannot predict the long-term effect of any recent changes or any future tax law changes on REITs and their shareholders. Prospective shareholders are urged to consult with their own tax advisors regarding the effect of potential changes to the U.S. federal tax laws on an investment in our securities.
State, Local and Foreign Taxes
We and/or our subsidiaries and shareholders may be subject to taxation by various states, localities or foreign jurisdictions, including those in which we, our subsidiaries, or our shareholders transact business, own property or reside. We or our subsidiaries may own properties located in numerous jurisdictions and may be required to file tax returns in some or all of those jurisdictions. The state, local and foreign tax treatment of us and our shareholders may differ from the U.S. federal income tax treatment of us and our shareholders described above. Consequently, shareholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the application and effect of state, local and foreign income and other tax laws upon an investment in our securities.

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

The common shares may be sold from time to time directly by us or the Selling Shareholders, including the Selling Shareholders’ donees, pledgees, transferees and other successors in interest, or, alternatively, through underwriters, broker-dealers or agents, or through any combination of the foregoing methods. The common shares may be sold in one or more transactions at fixed prices, at prevailing market prices at the time of sale, at varying prices determined at the time of sale or at negotiated prices. Such sales may be effected in transactions, which may involve block transactions:
•    on any national securities exchange or quotation service on which the common shares may be listed or quoted at the time of sale;
•    in the over-the-counter market;
•    otherwise than on such exchanges or services or in the over-the-counter market; or
•    through the writing of options.

We and the Selling Shareholders may also sell all or a portion of the common shares offered hereby from time to time using other methods as permitted pursuant to applicable law.
In addition, the Selling Shareholders may resell all or a portion of the Selling Shareholders’ common shares in open market transactions in reliance upon Rule 144 under the Securities Act, as permitted by that rule, or Section 4(a)(1) under the Securities Act, if available, rather than under this prospectus, provided that they meet the criteria and conform to the requirements of those provisions.
Broker-dealers engaged by us or the Selling Shareholders may arrange for other broker-dealers to participate in sales. If we or the Selling Shareholders effect such transactions by selling common shares to or through underwriters, broker-dealers or agents, such underwriters, broker-dealers or agents may receive commissions in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from us or the Selling Shareholders or commissions from purchasers of the common shares for whom they may act as agent or to whom they may sell as principal. Such commissions will be in amounts to be negotiated, but, except as set forth in a supplement to this prospectus, in the case of an agency transaction will not be in excess of a customary brokerage commission in compliance with FINRA Rule 2121; and in the case of a principal transaction a mark-up or mark-down in compliance with the Supplementary Material to FINRA Rule 2121.
In connection with sales of the common shares or otherwise, the Selling Shareholders may enter into hedging transactions with broker-dealers or other financial institutions, which may in turn engage in short sales of the common shares in the course of hedging in positions they assume. The Selling Shareholders may also sell securities short and deliver common shares covered by this prospectus to close out short positions and to return borrowed securities in connection with such short sales. The Selling Shareholders may also loan or pledge the common shares to broker-dealers that in turn may sell such common shares, to the extent permitted by applicable law. The Selling Shareholders may also enter into option or other transactions with broker-dealers or other financial institutions or the creation of one or more derivative securities which require the delivery to such broker-dealer or other financial institution of common shares offered by this prospectus, which common shares such broker-dealer or other financial institution may resell pursuant to this prospectus (as supplemented or amended to reflect such transaction).
The Selling Shareholders may, from time to time, pledge or grant a security interest in some or all of the common shares owned by the Selling Shareholders and, if the Selling Shareholders default in the performance of their secured obligations, the pledgees or secured parties may offer and sell the common shares from time to time pursuant to this prospectus or any amendment or supplement to this prospectus under any applicable provision of the Securities Act, amending, if necessary, the list of Selling Shareholders to include the pledgee, transferee or other successors in interest as selling shareholders under this prospectus. The Selling Shareholders also may transfer and donate the common shares in other circumstances in which case the transferees, donees, pledgees or other successors in interest will be the selling beneficial owners for purposes of this prospectus.
The Selling Shareholders and any broker-dealer or agents participating in the distribution of the common shares may be deemed to be “underwriters” within the meaning of Section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act in connection with such sales. In such event, any commissions paid, or any discounts or concessions allowed to, any such broker-dealer or agent and any profit on the resale of the shares purchased by them may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts under the Securities Act. Selling shareholders who are “underwriters” within the meaning of Section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act will be subject to the applicable prospectus delivery requirements of the Securities Act and may be subject to certain statutory liabilities of, including but not limited to, Sections 11, 12 and 17 of the Securities Act and Rule 10b-5 under the Exchange Act.
The Selling Shareholders have informed us that they are not registered broker-dealers and do not have any written or oral agreement or understanding, directly or indirectly, with any person to distribute the common shares. If required, the specific
45


common shares to be sold, the name of the Selling Shareholders, the respective purchase prices and public offering prices, the names of any agent, broker-dealer or underwriter and any applicable commissions or discounts with respect to a particular offer will be set forth in an accompanying prospectus supplement or, if appropriate, a post-effective amendment to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.
Under the securities laws of some states, the common shares may be sold in such states only through registered or licensed brokers or dealers. In addition, in some states the common shares may not be sold unless such common shares have been registered or qualified for sale in such state or an exemption from registration or qualification is available and is complied with.
There can be no assurance that the Selling Shareholders will sell any or all of the common shares registered pursuant to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.
The Selling Shareholders and any other person participating in a distribution of the common shares will be subject to applicable provisions of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, including, without limitation, to the extent applicable, Regulation M of the Exchange Act, which may limit the timing of purchases and sales of any of the common shares by the Selling Shareholders and any other participating person. To the extent applicable, Regulation M may also restrict the ability of any person engaged in the distribution of the common shares to engage in market-making activities with respect to the common shares. All of the foregoing may affect the marketability of the common shares and the ability of any person or entity to engage in market-making activities with respect to the common shares.
We entered into a registration rights agreement with each of the Ellington Holders and the Blackstone Holders. Under the registration rights agreement, subject to certain limitations and customary cut-back rights, we have agreed to provide the Blackstone Holders and other holders of our “registrable common shares” (as such term is defined in the registration rights agreement) who become a party to the registration rights agreement with certain demand and/or piggy-back registration and shelf takedown rights. For more information regarding the registration rights agreement, see “Description of Our Common Shares of Beneficial Interest—Registration Rights.”

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LEGAL MATTERS
Certain legal matters in connection with the issuance of the securities issued or sold under this prospectus will be passed upon for us by Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.  and, with respect to certain matters of Maryland law, by Venable LLP. Certain tax matters will be passed upon for us by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. 

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EXPERTS
The financial statements incorporated in this Prospectus by reference to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 have been so incorporated in reliance on the report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
This prospectus is only part of a registration statement on Form S-3 we have filed with the SEC under the Securities Act and therefore omits some of the information contained in the registration statement. We have also filed exhibits and schedules to the registration statement which are excluded from this prospectus, and you should refer to the applicable exhibit or schedule for a complete description of any statement referring to any contract or other document. You may obtain a copy of the registration statement, including the exhibits and schedules, as described in the following paragraph.
Our SEC filings, including our registration statement, are available to you on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of our SEC filings are available free of charge through our website (www.earnreit.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after filing with the SEC. The information contained on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not part of, or incorporated by reference into, this prospectus.

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DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
We have elected to “incorporate by reference” certain information into this prospectus. By incorporating by reference, we are disclosing important information to you by referring you to documents we have filed separately with the SEC. Any statement contained in a document which is incorporated by reference in this prospectus is automatically updated and superseded if information contained in this prospectus, or information that we later file with the SEC, modifies or replaces this information. These documents contain important information about us, our business and our finances. The following documents previously filed with the SEC pursuant to the Exchange Act, are incorporated by reference into this prospectus and registration statement of which this prospectus is a part except for any document or portion thereof deemed to be “furnished” and not filed in accordance with SEC rules:
 
Our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on February 16, 2021 (except with respect to Items 2.02 and 7.01 and the associated Exhibits 99.1 and 99.2), March 3, 2021, March 31, 2021 (except with respect to Item 7.01 and the associated Exhibit 99.1), and April 2, 2021 (except with respect to Item 7.01);
Our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on April 1, 2021 in connection with our Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 13, 2021; and
The description of our common shares incorporated by reference in our registration statement on Form 8-A filed on April 29, 2013 under the Exchange Act, including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description.
We also incorporate by reference any of the following documents that we file with the SEC after the date of the initial registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part and prior to the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part through the date upon which the offering of the securities described in this prospectus is terminated (other than any portion of these documents that is furnished or otherwise deemed not to be filed):
 
Reports filed under Section 13(a) and (c) of the Exchange Act;
Definitive proxy or information statements filed under Section 14 of the Exchange Act in connection with any subsequent shareholders’ meeting; and
Any reports filed under Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.
To obtain a free copy of any of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus (other than exhibits, unless they are specifically incorporated by reference in the documents) please contact us in writing or by phone at:
Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT
53 Forest Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
(203) 698-1200

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PART II. INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS

Item 14. Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution.
The following table sets forth the costs and expenses of the sale and distribution of the common shares being registered, all of which are being borne by us.

Securities and Exchange Commission registration fee . . . . . $10,910*
Printing and engraving fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . **
Legal fees and expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . **
Accounting fees and expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . **
Miscellaneous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . **
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . **

*     Unutilized registration fees of $7,700 were previously paid for unsold securities, as indicated on the facing page of this Registration Statement on Form S-3, and have been applied to the registration fees applicable in connection with the filing of this Registration Statement on Form S-3.

**     These fees and expenses are based on the number of issuances and accordingly cannot be estimated at this time. The applicable prospectus supplement will set forth the estimated aggregate amount of expenses payable in respect of any offering of securities.
Item 15. Indemnification of Directors and Officers.
Maryland law permits a Maryland real estate investment trust to include in its declaration of trust a provision eliminating the liability of its trustees and officers to the trust and its shareholders for money damages except for liability resulting from (a) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (b) active or deliberate dishonesty that is established by a final judgment and is material to the cause of action. Our declaration of trust contains a provision which limits the liability of our trustees and officers to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.

In addition, our declaration of trust provides that, to the maximum extent permitted by law and subject to certain exceptions, our initial shareholders and our trustees, and their affiliates (which includes the Blackstone Funds, Ellington, our trustees who are nominated by affiliates of the Blackstone Funds or Ellington and our officers who are also employees of Ellington), have no duty to refrain from competing with us, owning any investments or engaging in any business activities (including investments and business activities that are similar to our current or proposed investments or business activities) or buying, selling or trading any securities or commodities for their own accounts (including taking positions contrary ours), and no such person will be liable to us or any shareholder for a conflict of interest or a breach of any duty by reason of the fact that the person participates in any such activity. Our declaration of trust also provides that, to the maximum extent permitted by law, none of our initial shareholders or trustees, or their affiliates, are required to present any business opportunity to us unless the opportunity is expressly offered to such person in his or her capacity as a trustee or officer of us.

Our declaration of trust permits us and our bylaws obligate us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, to indemnify (a) any present or former trustee or officer or (b) any individual who, while a trustee or officer and at our request, serves or has served another real estate investment trust, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, trustee, officer, member, manager, partner, employee or agent, in either case, who is made or is threatened to be made a party to or witness in the proceeding by reason of his or her service in any such capacity, from and against any claim or liability to which that individual may become subject or which that individual may incur by reason of his or her service in any such capacity and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. Our declaration of trust and bylaws also permit us to indemnify and advance expenses to any person who served a predecessor of our company in any of the capacities described above and to any employee or agent of our company or a predecessor of our company.

Maryland law requires us to indemnify a trustee or officer who has been successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the defense of any proceeding to which he is made a party by reason of his service in that capacity. The Maryland REIT Law permits a Maryland real estate investment trust to indemnify and advance expenses to its trustees, officers, employees and agents to the same extent as permitted for directors and officers of Maryland corporations. The Maryland General
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Corporation Law permits a Maryland corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that (a) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (i) was committed in bad faith or (ii) was a result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (b) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services or (c) in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer has reasonable cause to believe that the act or omission was unlawful. However, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify for an adverse judgment in a suit by or on behalf of the corporation or if the director or officer was adjudged to be liable for an improper personal benefit, unless in either case a court orders indemnification and then only for expenses. In accordance with the Maryland General Corporation Law, as a condition to advancing expenses, we must obtain (a) a written affirmation by the trustee or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification and (b) a written statement by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by us if it is ultimately determined that the standard of conduct was not met.

We have entered into indemnification agreements with our trustees and our executive officers providing for procedures for indemnification by us to the fullest extent permitted by law and advancement by us of expenses and costs relating to certain claims, suits or proceedings arising from their service to us.

We have obtained an insurance policy under which our trustees and executive officers are insured, subject to the limits of the policy, against certain losses arising from claims made against such trustees and officers by reason of any acts or omissions covered under such policy in their respective capacities as trustees or officers, including certain liabilities under the Securities Act.

Insofar as the foregoing provisions permit indemnification of trustees, officers or persons controlling us for liability arising under the Securities Act, we have been informed that in the opinion of the SEC, this indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.

Item 16. Financial Statements and Exhibits.

The following exhibits are filed as part of, or incorporated by reference into, this Registration Statement on Form S-3:
Exhibit
Description of Document
1.1*
Form of Underwriting Agreement
3.1
3.2
4.1
5.1
8.1
21.1
23.1
23.2
23.3
24.1
*    To be filed by amendment, or as an exhibit to a Current Report on Form 8-K and incorporated by reference into this registration statement subsequent to its effectiveness.

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Item  17.    Undertakings.
(1) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:
(1)    To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:
(i)    To include any prospectus required by section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933.
(ii)    To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective registration statement.
(iii)    To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;
provided, however, that paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii) of this section do not apply if the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the Registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.
(2)    That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(3)    To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.
(4)    That, for purposes of determining liability under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser:
(i)    Each prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and
(ii)    Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5) or (b)(7) as part of a registration statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii) or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by section 10(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration statement to which that prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with time of contract of sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date.
(5)    That, for the purpose of determining liability of the registrant under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities, the undersigned registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of the undersigned registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:
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(i)    Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424;
(ii)    Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned registrant;
(iii)    The portion of any other free writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant; and
(iv)    Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned registrant to the purchaser.
(2) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of the registrant’s annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(3) The undersigned registrant hereby further undertakes that:
(1)    For purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933 the information omitted from the form of prospectus filed as part of this registration statement in reliance upon Rule 430A and contained in a form of prospectus filed by the registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(1) or (4), or 497(h) under the Securities Act shall be deemed to be part of this registration statement as of the time it was declared effective.
(2)    For the purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each post-effective amendment that contains a form of prospectus shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
(4) Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers or controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. If a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

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SIGNATURES
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-3 and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, on the 26th day of April 2021.
 ELLINGTON RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE REIT
Date: April 26, 2021 By:
/s/ LAURENCE PENN
 Laurence Penn
Chief Executive Officer
(Principal Executive Officer)
POWER OF ATTORNEY
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, that each person whose signature appears below hereby constitutes and appoints Laurence Penn, Christopher Smernoff, Daniel R. Margolis, and Jason Frank and each of them, his true and lawful attorney-in-fact and agent, with full power of substitution, for him and in his name, place and stead, in any and all capacities, to sign any and all amendments to this Registration Statement, and any additional related registration statement filed pursuant to Rule 462 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (including post-effective amendments to the registration statement and any such related registration statements), and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto, and any other documents in connection therewith, granting unto said attorneys-in-fact and agents full power and authority to do and perform each and every act and thing requisite and necessary to be done in and about the premises, as fully to all intents and purposes as he might or could do in person, hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or their substitutes may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, this registration statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities and on the dates indicated.
SignatureTitleDate
/s/ LAURENCE PENN
Chief Executive Officer, President and Trustee (Principal Executive Officer)
April 26, 2021
LAURENCE PENN
/s/ CHRISTOPHER SMERNOFF
Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)
April 26, 2021
CHRISTOPHER SMERNOFF
/s/ MICHAEL W. VRANOS
TrusteeApril 26, 2021
MICHAEL W. VRANOS
/s/ ROBERT B. ALLARDICE, III
Chairman of the BoardApril 22, 2021
ROBERT B. ALLARDICE, III
/s/ RONALD I. SIMON PH.D
TrusteeApril 26, 2021
RONALD I. SIMON PH.D
Trustee
THOMAS F. ROBARDS
/s/ C.C. MELVIN IKE
TrusteeApril 26, 2021
C.C. MELVIN IKE
/s/ DAVID MILLER
TrusteeApril 26, 2021
DAVID MILLER
/s/ MARY MCBRIDE
TrusteeApril 22, 2021
MARY MCBRIDE