10-K 1 d10k.htm FORM 10-K Form 10-K
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

 

þ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, or

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                  to                 

Commission file number: 1-3754

ALLY FINANCIAL INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   38-0572512
(State or other jurisdiction of   (I.R.S. Employer
incorporation or organization)   Identification No.)

200 Renaissance Center

P.O. Box 200 Detroit, Michigan

48265-2000

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

(866) 710-4623

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act (all listed on the New York Stock Exchange):

 

Title of each class

   
6.00% Debentures due April 1, 2011   7.35% Notes due August 8, 2032
10.00% Deferred Interest Debentures due December 1, 2012   7.25% Notes due February 7, 2033
10.30% Deferred Interest Debentures due June 15, 2015   7.375% Notes due December 16, 2044
7.30% Public Income Notes (PINES) due March 9, 2031  

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ¨ No ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulations S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer ¨   Accelerated filer ¨   Non-accelerated filer þ   Smaller reporting company ¨
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ¨ No þ

Aggregate market value of voting and nonvoting common equity held by nonaffiliates: Ally Financial Inc. common equity is not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and there is no ascertainable market value for such common equity.

At February 25, 2011, the number of shares outstanding of the Registrant’s common stock was 1,330,970 shares.

Documents incorporated by reference. None.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

INDEX

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

           Page  
Part I     
Item 1.   Business      1   
Item 1A.   Risk Factors      12   
Item 1B.   Unresolved Staff Comments      29   
Item 2.   Properties      29   
Item 3.   Legal Proceedings      29   
Item 4.   (Removed and Reserved)      30   
Part II     
Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities      31   
Item 6.   Selected Financial Data      32   
Item 7.   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations      33   
Item 7A.   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk      128   
Item 8.   Financial Statements and Supplementary Data      129   
  Statement of Responsibility for Preparation of Financial Statements      129   
  Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting      130   
  Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm      131   
  Consolidated Statement of Income      133   
  Consolidated Balance Sheet      134   
  Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity      136   
  Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows      138   
  Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements      140   
Item 9.   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure      253   
Item 9A.   Controls and Procedures      253   
Item 9B.   Other Information      253   
Part III     
Item 10.   Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance      254   
Item 11.   Executive Compensation      259   
Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters      271   
Item 13.   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence      271   
Item 14.   Principal Accounting Fees and Services      274   
Part IV     
Item 15.   Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules      275   
Index of Exhibits      275   
Signatures      280   

 


Table of Contents

Part I

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

 

Item 1. Business

General

Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC Inc.) is a leading, independent, globally diversified, financial services firm with $172 billion in assets and operations in 37 countries. Founded in 1919, we are a leading automotive financial services company with over 90 years experience providing a broad array of financial products and services to automotive dealers and their customers. We are also one of the largest residential mortgage companies in the United States. We became a bank holding company on December 24, 2008, under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the BHC Act). Our banking subsidiary, Ally Bank, is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc. and a leading franchise in the growing direct (online and telephonic) banking market, with $33.9 billion of deposits at December 31, 2010. The terms “Ally,” “the Company,” “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Ally Financial Inc. and its subsidiaries as a consolidated entity, except where it is clear that the terms means only Ally Financial Inc.

Our Business

Global Automotive Services and Mortgage are our primary lines of business. Our Global Automotive Services business serves over 18,000 dealers globally with a wide range of financial services and insurance products. We have a dealer-focused business model that we believe makes us the preferred automotive finance company for thousands of automotive dealers. We have specialized incentive programs that are designed to encourage dealers to direct more of their business to us. In addition, we believe our longstanding relationship with General Motors Company (GM) has resulted in particularly strong relationships between us and thousands of dealers and extensive operating experience relative to other automotive finance companies.

Our mortgage business is a leading originator and servicer of residential mortgage loans in the United States and Canada.

Ally Bank, our direct banking platform, provides our Automotive Finance and Mortgage operations with a stable, low-cost funding source and facilitates prudent asset growth. Our focus is on building a stable deposit base driven by our compelling brand and strong value proposition. Ally Bank raises deposits directly from customers through a direct banking channel over the internet and by telephone. Ally Bank offers a full spectrum of deposit product offerings including certificates of deposit, savings accounts and money market accounts, as well as an online checking product. Ally Bank’s assets and operating results are divided between our North American Automotive Finance operations and Mortgage operations based on its underlying business activities.

 

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The following table reflects the primary products and services offered by the continuing operations of each of our lines of business.

LOGO

Global Automotive Services

Global Automotive Services includes our North American Automotive Finance operations, International Automotive Finance operations, and Insurance operations. Our Global Automotive Services business had $106.7 billion of assets at December 31, 2010, and generated $7.4 billion of total net revenue in 2010.

Our Global Automotive Services operations offer a wide range of financial services and insurance products to over 18,000 automotive dealerships and their retail customers. We have deep dealer relationships that have been built over our 90-year history and our dealer-focused business model encourages dealers to use our broad range of products through incentive programs like our Dealer Rewards program, which rewards individual dealers based on the depth and breadth of our relationship. Our automotive finance services include providing retail installment sales contracts, loans, and leases, offering term loans to dealers, financing dealer floorplans and other lines of credit to dealers, fleet leasing, and vehicle remarketing services. We also offer vehicle service contracts and commercial insurance primarily covering dealers’ wholesale vehicle inventories in the United States and internationally. We are a leading provider of vehicle service contracts with mechanical breakdown and maintenance coverages.

A significant portion of our Global Automotive Services business is conducted with or through GM- and Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler)-franchised dealers and their customers.

On November 30, 2006, we entered into an agreement with GM that, subject to certain conditions and limitations, whenever GM offers vehicle financing and leasing incentives to customers, it would do so exclusively through Ally. Most recently, this agreement was modified on May 22, 2009. As a result of these modifications: (1) through December 31, 2010, GM could offer retail financing incentive programs through a third-party financing source under certain specified circumstances and, in some cases, subject to the limitation that pricing offered by the third party meets certain restrictions, and after December 31, 2010, GM can offer any incentive programs on a graduated basis through third parties on a nonexclusive, side-by-side basis with Ally provided that the pricing of the third parties meets certain requirements; (2) Ally will have no obligation to provide operating lease financing products; and (3) Ally will have no targets against which it could be assessed penalties. The modified agreement will expire on December 31, 2013. A primary objective of Ally under the agreement continues to be supporting distribution and marketing of GM products.

 

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On August 6, 2010, we entered into an agreement with Chrysler (which replaced a term sheet that was originally effective on April 30, 2009) to make available automotive financing products and services to Chrysler dealers and customers. We are Chrysler’s preferred provider of new wholesale financing for dealer inventory in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, along with other international markets upon the mutual agreement of the parties. We provide dealer financing and services and retail financing to qualified Chrysler dealers and customers as we deem appropriate according to our credit policies and in our sole discretion. Chrysler is obligated to provide us with certain exclusivity privileges including the use of Ally for designated minimum threshold percentages of certain Chrysler retail financing subvention programs. The agreement extends through April 30, 2013, with automatic one-year renewals unless either we or Chrysler provides sufficient notice of nonrenewal. During 2010, Chrysler also selected Ally to be the preferred financing provider for Fiat vehicles in the United States. Under this agreement, our North American Automotive Finance operations will offer retail financing, leasing, wholesale financing, working capital and facility loans, and remarketing services for Fiat vehicles in the United States.

In 2010, we also further diversified our Global Automotive Services customer base by establishing agreements with other manufacturers. In March 2010, we were selected by Spyker Cars N.V., which purchased Saab Automobile from GM, as the preferred source of wholesale and retail financing for qualified Saab dealers and customers in North America and internationally. Additionally, in November 2010, we were selected as the recommended provider of finance and insurance products and services for Saab dealerships in the United States. In April 2010, we were selected by Thor Industries, Inc. (Thor) as the preferred financial provider for its recreational vehicles. Thor is the world’s largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles, including brands such as Damon, Four Winds, Airstream, Dutchmen, Komfort, Breckenridge, CrossRoads, General Coach, and Keystone RV.

Automotive Finance

Our North American Automotive Finance operations consist of our automotive finance operations in the United States and Canada. At December 31, 2010, our North American Automotive Finance operations had $81.9 billion of assets and generated $4.0 billion of total net revenue in 2010.

Our International Automotive Finance operations are in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. At December 31, 2010, our International Automotive Finance operations had $16.0 billion of assets and generated $1.0 billion of total net revenue in 2010. Through our longstanding relationship with GM, we have extensive experience operating in international markets and broad global capabilities. We currently originate loans in 15 countries. During 2010 and 2009, we have significantly streamlined our international presence to focus on strategic operations in five core markets: Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and China through our joint venture, GMAC-SAIC Automotive Finance Company Limited (GMAC-SAIC). In China, GMAC-SAIC is a leading automotive finance company with broad geographic coverage and a full suite of products. We own 40% of GMAC-SAIC. The other joint venture partners include Shanghai Automotive Group Finance Company LTD and Shanghai General Motors Corporation Limited.

Our success as an automotive finance provider is driven by the consistent and broad range of products and services we offer to dealers who originate loans and leases to their retail customers who are acquiring new and used automobiles. In the United States and Canada, Ally and other automotive finance providers purchase these loans and leases from automotive dealers. In other countries, we offer retail installment loans and leases directly to retail customers of the dealers. Automotive dealers are independently owned businesses and are our primary customer.

Automotive dealers require a full range of financial products, including new and used vehicle inventory financing, inventory insurance, working capital and capital improvement loans, and vehicle remarketing services to conduct their respective businesses as well as service contracts and guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance to offer their customers. We have consistently provided this full suite of products to the dealer.

For consumers, we offer retail automotive financing for new and used vehicles and leasing for new vehicles. In the United States, retail financing for the purchase of vehicles takes the form of installment sale financing. When we refer to consumer automobile loans in this document, we are including retail installment sales financing unless the context suggests otherwise. During 2010, we originated a total of 1.9 million automotive loans and leases worldwide totaling approximately $43.0 billion. We provided financing for 40% and 38% of GM’s and Chrysler’s North American retail sales including leases, respectively, and 22% of GM’s international retail sales including leases in countries where both GM and we operate and we had retail financing volume, excluding China. For additional information about our relationship and business transactions with GM, refer to Note 26 to the Consolidated Financial Statements and Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.

 

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Our consumer automotive financing operations generate revenue through finance charges or lease payments and fees paid by customers on the retail contracts and leases. We also recognize a gain or loss on the remarketing of the vehicles financed through lease contracts. When the lease contract is originated, we estimate the residual value of the leased vehicle at lease termination. At lease termination, our actual sales proceeds from remarketing the vehicle may be higher or lower than the original estimate, which may be revised over time.

GM or Chrysler may elect as a marketing incentive to sponsor special financing programs for retail sales of their respective vehicles. The manufacturer can lower the financing rate paid by the customer on either a retail contract or a lease by paying us the present value of the difference between the customer rate and our standard market rates at contract inception. These marketing incentives are referred to as rate support or subvention. GM may also from time to time offer lease pull-ahead programs, which encourage consumers to terminate existing leases early if they acquire a new GM vehicle. As part of these programs, we waive all or a portion of the customer’s remaining payment obligation. In most cases, GM compensates us for a portion of the foregone revenue from those waived payments after consideration of the extent that our remarketing sale proceeds are higher than otherwise would be realized if the vehicle had been remarketed at lease contract maturity. Historically, the manufacturer elected to lower a customer’s lease payments through a residual support incentive program; in these instances, the manufacturer and we agreed to increase the projected value of the vehicle at the time the lease contract was signed, and the manufacturer reimbursed us if the remarketing sales proceeds were less than the adjusted residual value. We have not had any residual support incentive programs of material size on leases originated in 2009 or 2010 with any manufacturers.

Our commercial automotive financing operations primarily fund dealer purchases of new and used vehicles through wholesale or floorplan financing. During 2010, we financed an average of $30.5 billion of dealer vehicle inventory worldwide through wholesale or floorplan financings. We financed 86% and 75% of GM’s and Chrysler’s North American dealer inventory, respectively, during 2010, and 75% of GM’s international dealer inventory in countries where GM operates and we provide dealer inventory financing, excluding China. Additional commercial offerings include automotive dealer term loans, revolving lines of credit, and dealer fleet financing.

Wholesale automotive financing represents the largest portion of our commercial automotive financing business. We extend lines of credit to individual dealers. In general, each wholesale credit line is secured by all the vehicles financed and, in some instances, by other assets owned by the dealer or by a personal guarantee. The amount we advance to dealers is equal to 100% of the wholesale invoice price of new vehicles. Interest on wholesale automotive financing is generally payable monthly and is usually indexed to a floating rate benchmark. The rate for a particular dealer is based on the dealer’s creditworthiness and eligibility for various incentive programs, among other factors.

Insurance

Our Insurance operations offer both consumer and commercial insurance products sold primarily through the automotive dealer channel. As part of our focus on offering dealers a broad range of products, we provide vehicle extended service contracts and mechanical breakdown coverages and underwrite selected commercial insurance coverages in the United States and internationally, primarily covering dealers’ wholesale vehicle inventory, as well as personal automobile insurance in certain countries outside the United States. We sell vehicle extended service contracts with mechanical breakdown and maintenance coverages. Our Insurance operations had $8.8 billion of assets at December 31, 2010, and generated $2.4 billion of total net revenue in 2010.

Our vehicle extended service contracts for retail customers offer owners and lessees mechanical repair protection and roadside assistance for new and used vehicles beyond the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty. These extended service contracts are marketed to the public through automotive dealerships and on a direct response basis in the United States and Canada. The extended service contracts cover virtually all vehicle makes and models. We also offer GAP products, which allow the recovery of a specified economic loss beyond the covered vehicle’s value in the event the vehicle is damaged and declared a total loss. Our U.K.-based Car Care Plan subsidiary provides automotive extended service contracts and GAP products in Europe and Latin America.

Wholesale vehicle inventory insurance for dealers provides physical damage protection for dealers’ floorplan vehicles. Dealers are generally required to maintain this insurance by their floorplan finance provider. We offer vehicle inventory insurance in the United States to virtually all new car franchised dealerships. Through our international operations, we

 

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reinsure dealer vehicle inventory and other lines of insurance in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. International operations also manage a fee-focused insurance program through which commissions are earned from third-party insurers offering insurance products primarily to Ally customers worldwide.

Our ABA Seguros subsidiary provides personal automobile insurance and certain commercial insurance in Mexico. We also provide personal automobile insurance in Canada.

A significant aspect of our Insurance operations is the investment of proceeds from premiums and other revenue sources. We will use these investments to satisfy our obligations related to future claims at the time these claims are settled. Our Insurance operations have an Investment Committee, which develops guidelines and strategies for these investments. The guidelines established by this committee reflect our risk tolerance, liquidity requirements, regulatory requirements, and rating agency considerations, among other factors.

Mortgage

Our Mortgage operations are now reported as two distinct segments: (1) Origination and Servicing operations and (2) Legacy Portfolio and Other operations. These operations are conducted through the mortgage operations of Ally Bank in the United States, ResMor Trust in Canada, and subsidiaries of the Residential Capital, LLC (ResCap) legal entity in the United States. Our Mortgage operations had $36.8 billion of assets at December 31, 2010, and generated $2.7 billion of total net revenue in 2010.

Origination and Servicing

Our Origination and Servicing operations is one of the leading originators of conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans in the United States. We also originate and purchase high-quality government-insured residential mortgage loans in Canada. We are one of the largest residential mortgage loan servicers in the United States and we provide collateralized lines of credit to other mortgage originators, which we refer to as warehouse lending. We finance our mortgage loan originations primarily in Ally Bank in the United States and in ResMor Trust in Canada. During 2010, we originated or purchased approximately 300,000 mortgage loans totaling $69.5 billion in the United States: $61.5 billion through our network of correspondents and $8.0 billion through our retail and direct network, which includes our Ditech branded direct-to-consumer channel. We sell the conforming mortgages we originate or purchase in sales that take the form of securitizations guaranteed by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), and sell government-insured mortgage loans we originate or purchase in securitizations guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) in the United States and sell the insured mortgages we originate in Canada as National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA-MBS) issued under the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s NHA-MBS program or through whole-loan sales. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae are collectively known as the Government-sponsored Enterprises or GSEs. We also selectively originate prime jumbo mortgage loans in the United States. In 2010, we sold $67.8 billion of mortgage loans guaranteed by the GSEs, or 94.6% of total loans sold. At December 31, 2010, we were the primary servicer of 2.4 million mortgage loans with an unpaid principal balance of $361 billion. Our Originating and Servicing operations had $24.5 billion of assets at December 31, 2010, and generated $1.8 billion of total net revenue during the year ended December 31, 2010.

Legacy Portfolio and Other

Our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations primarily consists of loans originated prior to January 1, 2009, and includes noncore business activities including discontinued operations, portfolios in runoff, and cash held in the ResCap legal entity. These activities, all of which we have discontinued, include, among other things: lending to real estate developers and homebuilders in the United States and the United Kingdom; purchasing, selling and securitizing nonconforming residential mortgage loans (with the exception of U.S. prime jumbo mortgage loans) in both the United States and internationally; certain conforming origination channels closed in 2008 and our mortgage reinsurance business. During 2009 and 2010, we performed a strategic review of our mortgage business. As a result of the review, we exited the European mortgage market through the sale of our United Kingdom and continental Europe operations. The sale of these operations was completed on October 1, 2010. We have substantially reduced the risk in our Mortgage operations since the onset of the housing crisis through a significant reduction in total assets, primarily through the runoff and divestiture of noncore businesses and assets. In 2010, we sold $1.6 billion in domestic legacy mortgage loans to investors through nonagency securitizations. At December 31, 2010, our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations had total assets of $12.3 billion that included $1.4 billion of

 

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nonrecourse assets and cash, mortgage loans held-for-investment with a net carrying value of $8.9 billion, and mortgage loans held-for-sale with a net carrying value of $2.0 billion, which have been marked to their fair value at 47% of their unpaid principal balance on average. In addition, we have reached agreements with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, significantly limiting our repurchase obligations with each counterparty. Our Mortgage operations holds reserves of $830 million at December 31, 2010, for potential repurchase obligations related to potential breaches of representations and warranties.

Corporate and Other

Our Commercial Finance Group is included within Corporate and Other. Our Commercial Finance Group provides senior secured commercial lending products to small and medium sized businesses primarily in the United States. Corporate and Other also includes certain equity investments, the amortization of the discount associated with new debt issuances and bond exchanges, most notably from the December 2008 bond exchange, as well as the residual impacts of our corporate funds-transfer-pricing (FTP) and treasury asset liability management (ALM) activities.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank, our direct banking platform, provides our Automotive Finance and Mortgage operations with a stable, low-cost funding source and facilitates prudent asset growth. Ally Bank funded 64% of our U.S. retail automotive loans in the fourth quarter of 2010. At December 31, 2010, we had $33.9 billion of deposits including $21.8 billion of retail deposits sourced by Ally Bank. The focus on retail deposits and growth in our deposit base from $19.2 billion at the end of 2008 to $33.9 billion at the end 2010, combined with improving capital markets and a lower interest rate environment have contributed to a reduction in our cost of funds of approximately 100 basis points since the first quarter of 2009. Ongoing, our cost of funds will be influenced by changes in the level of deposits as well as the interest rate environment and the state of capital markets.

Ally Bank raises deposits directly from customers over the internet and by telephone, referred to as direct banking. Ally Bank has quickly become a leader in online banking with our recognizable brand, accessible 24/7 customer service, and a full spectrum of competitively priced products. We have attempted to distinguish Ally Bank with our “Talk Straight, Do Right, Be Obviously Better” branding and products that are “Easy to Use” with “No Fine Print, Hidden Fees, Rules, or Penalties”. Our products and customer experience have earned top honors from Money Magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, and Change Sciences Group.

We believe that Ally Bank is well-positioned to take advantage of the consumer-driven shift from branch to direct banking.

Industry and Competition

The financial services industry is highly competitive. We compete with other financial services providers including captive automotive finance companies, banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, finance companies, mortgage banking companies, and insurance companies. Many of these competitors benefit from lower funding costs and frequently have fewer regulatory constraints. We also compete with other deposit-taking institutions such as banks, thrifts, and credit unions for deposits.

The automotive finance market is significant in size and consists of one of the most attractive financial asset classes. It generally performed well relative to other asset classes even during the recent economic downturn. We believe there are attractive opportunities for us to grow our automotive finance business. As a result of our strong market position, we are well positioned to benefit from the recovery in U.S. new vehicle sales coming out of the recessionary levels of 2009. In addition, we have recently focused on the fragmented used vehicle finance market, which offers further growth opportunities. Outside the United States, we are focusing on large and fast-growing markets including China, Mexico, and Brazil where, through our long-standing relationship with GM, we have already built significant market positions.

Our automotive service contract business premium growth is, and will continue to be, largely dependent on new vehicle sales, market penetration, and warranty coverage offered by automotive manufacturers. Similar to the automotive finance business, the automotive insurance market is driven by dealers; both consumer and commercial insurance products are sold primarily through automotive dealer channels.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the property and casualty insurance industry is expected to record positive premium growth for 2011 and begin to recover from the aftermath of the recession. During 2010, the insurance marketplace experienced an increase in profitability due to improved equity investment asset values, which allowed the

 

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industry to realize capital gains compared to capital losses taken during 2009. Offsetting the increase in realized capital gains were historically low interest rates and smaller dividends yielding less earnings from the investment portfolios than in the past.

Our focus in 2011 and future periods will be on sustaining our position as a leading originator and servicer of conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans with limited expansion of our balance sheet while using agency securitizations to provide liquidity and continuing to align our origination and servicing platforms to take advantage of mortgage market reforms as they occur.

Certain Regulatory Matters

We are subject to various regulatory, financial, and other requirements of the jurisdictions in which our businesses operate. In light of recent conditions in the global financial markets, regulators have increased their focus on the regulation of the financial services industry. As a result, proposals for legislation that could increase the scope and nature of regulation of the financial services industry are possible. The following is a description of some of the primary laws and regulations that currently affect our business.

Bank Holding Company Status

On December 24, 2008, and in connection with the conversion of Ally Bank (formerly, GMAC Bank) from a Utah-chartered industrial bank into a Utah-chartered commercial state nonmember bank, Ally Financial Inc. (Ally) and IB Finance Holding Company, LLC (IB Finance) were each approved as bank holding companies under the BHC Act. IB Finance is the direct holding company for Ally’s FDIC-insured depository institution, Ally Bank. As a result, we are subject to the supervision and examination of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the FRB). As a bank holding company, Ally must comply with various reporting requirements by the FRB and is subject to supervision and examination by the FRB. Ally must also comply with regulatory risk-based and leverage capital requirements, as well as various safety and soundness standards imposed by the FRB, and is subject to certain statutory restrictions concerning the types of assets or securities it may own and the activities in which it may engage. The FRB has the authority to issue orders to bank holding companies to cease and desist from unsafe or unsound banking practices and from violations of laws, rules, regulations, or conditions imposed in writing by the FRB. The FRB is also empowered to assess civil money penalties against institutions or individuals who violate any laws, regulations, orders, or written agreements with the FRB; to order termination of certain activities of bank holding companies or their subsidiaries; and to order termination of ownership and control of a nonbanking subsidiary by a bank holding company. In addition, as a bank that is not a member of the Federal Reserve System, Ally Bank is subject to regulation and examination primarily by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions (the UDFI). This regulatory oversight is established to protect depositors, the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund, and the banking system as a whole, not security holders. Ally’s nonbank subsidiaries generally are subject to regulation by their functional regulators including the applicable state insurance regulatory agencies in the case of our insurance subsidiaries, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and/or state securities regulators in the case of our securities subsidiaries, as well as by the FRB. Our foreign subsidiaries are subject to regulation by applicable foreign regulatory agencies.

 

   

Permitted Activities — As a bank holding company, subject to certain exceptions, we are not permitted to acquire more than 5% of any class of voting shares of any nonaffiliated FDIC-insured depository institution or more than 25% of any other company without first obtaining FRB approval. Furthermore, the activities of Ally must be generally limited to banking or to managing or controlling banks or other companies engaged in activities deemed closely related to banking or otherwise permissible under the BHC Act. Likewise, Ally generally may not hold more than 5% of any class of voting shares of any company unless that company’s activities conform with the above requirements. Upon our bank holding company approval on December 24, 2008, we were permitted an initial two-year grace period to bring our activities and investments into conformity with these restrictions. This initial grace period expired in December 2010; however, the FRB has granted a one-year extension expiring in December 2011. We will be permitted to apply to the FRB for two additional one-year extensions. Absent further extensions, certain of Ally’s existing activities and investments deemed impermissible under the BHC Act must be terminated or disposed of by the expiration of the grace period and any extensions. For further information, refer to Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

   

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act — The enactment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (GLB Act) eliminated large parts of a regulatory framework that had its origins in the Depression era of the 1930s. Effective with its enactment,

 

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new opportunities became available for banks, other depository institutions, insurance companies, and securities firms to enter into combinations that permit a single financial services organization to offer customers a more comprehensive array of financial products and services. To further this goal, the GLB Act amended the BHC Act by providing a new regulatory framework applicable to “financial holding companies,” which are bank holding companies that meet certain qualifications and elect financial holding company status. The FRB regulates, supervises, and examines financial holding companies, as it does all bank holding companies. However, insurance and securities activities conducted by a financial holding company or its nonbank subsidiaries are regulated primarily by functional regulators. As a bank holding company, we are eligible to elect financial holding company status subject to satisfying certain regulatory requirements applicable to us and to Ally Bank (and any depository institution subsidiary that we may acquire in the future). As a financial holding company, Ally would then be permitted to engage in a broader range of financial and related activities than those that are permissible for bank holding companies, in particular, securities, insurance, and merchant banking activities. However, we have not yet elected to become a financial holding company.

 

   

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — On July 21, 2010, the President of the United States signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act). The Dodd-Frank Act will have material implications for Ally and the entire financial services industry. Among other things, it will or potentially could:

 

   

result in Ally being subject to enhanced oversight and scrutiny as a result of being a bank holding company with $50 billion or more in consolidated assets;

 

   

result in the appointment of the FDIC as receiver of Ally in an orderly liquidation proceeding, if the Secretary of the Treasury, upon recommendation of two-thirds of the FRB and the FDIC and in consultation with the President of the United States, finds Ally to be in default or danger of default;

 

   

affect the levels of capital and liquidity with which Ally must operate and how it plans capital and liquidity levels;

 

   

subject Ally to new and/or higher fees paid to various regulatory entities, including but not limited to deposit insurance fees to the FDIC;

 

   

impact Ally’s ability to invest in certain types of entities or engage in certain activities;

 

   

impact a number of Ally’s business and risk management strategies;

 

   

restrict the revenue that Ally generates from certain businesses; and

 

   

subject Ally to a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will have very broad rule-making and enforcement authorities.

 

   

Capital Adequacy Requirements — Ally and Ally Bank are subject to various guidelines as established under FRB and FDIC regulations. Refer to Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information. See also Basel Capital Accord below.

 

   

Limitations on Bank Holding Company Dividends and Capital Distributions — Utah law (and, in certain instances, federal law) places restrictions and limitations on the amount of dividends or other distributions payable by our banking subsidiary, Ally Bank, to Ally. With respect to dividends payable by Ally to its shareholders, it is the policy of the FRB that bank holding companies should pay cash dividends on common stock only out of current operating earnings and only if prospective earnings retention is consistent with the organization’s expected future needs and financial conditions. The federal bank regulatory agencies are also authorized to prohibit a banking subsidiary or bank holding company from engaging in unsafe or unsound banking practices and, depending upon the circumstances, could find that paying a dividend or making a capital distribution would constitute an unsafe or unsound banking practice.

 

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Transactions with Affiliates — Certain transactions between Ally Bank and any of its nonbank “affiliates,” including but not limited to Ally and ResCap, are subject to federal statutory and regulatory restrictions. Pursuant to these restrictions, unless otherwise exempted, “covered transactions” including Ally Bank’s extensions of credit to and asset purchases from its nonbank affiliates, generally (1) are limited to 10% of Ally Bank’s capital stock and surplus with an aggregate limit of 20% of Ally Bank’s capital stock and surplus for all such transactions; (2) in the case of certain credit transactions, are subject to stringent collateralization requirements; (3) in the case of asset purchases by Ally Bank, may not involve the purchase of any asset deemed to be a “low quality asset” under federal banking guidelines; and (4) must be conducted in accordance with safe-and-sound banking practices (collectively, the Affiliate Transaction Restrictions). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, among other changes to Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, credit exposures resulting from derivatives transactions and securities lending and borrowing transactions will be treated as “covered transactions.” These changes are expected to become effective in July 2012. Furthermore, there is an “attribution rule” that provides that a transaction between Ally Bank and a third party will be treated as a transaction between Ally Bank and a nonbank affiliate to the extent that the proceeds of the transaction are used for the benefit of or transferred to a nonbank affiliate of Ally Bank.

Because Ally controls Ally Bank, Ally is an affiliate of Ally Bank for purposes of the Affiliate Transaction Restrictions. Thus, retail financing transactions by Ally Bank involving vehicles for which Ally Financial provided floorplan financing are subject to the Affiliate Transaction Restrictions because the proceeds of the retail financings are deemed to benefit, and are ultimately transferred to, Ally Financial.

The FRB is authorized to exempt, in its discretion, transactions or relationships from the requirements of these rules if it finds such exemptions to be in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of the rules. The FRB has granted several such exemptions to Ally Bank. However, the existing exemptions are subject to various conditions and any requests for future exemptions may not be granted. Moreover, these limited exemptions generally do not encompass consumer leasing or used vehicle financing. Since there is no assurance that Ally Bank will be able to obtain future exemptions or waivers with respect to these restrictions, the ability to grow Ally Bank’s business will be affected by the Affiliate Transaction Restrictions and the conditions set forth in the existing exemption letters.

 

   

Source of Strength — Pursuant to FRB policy and regulations, the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (effective as of July 21, 2011), and under the Parent Company Agreement (PA) and the Capital and Liquidity Maintenance Agreement (CLMA) as described in Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, Ally is expected to act as a source of strength to Ally Bank and is required to commit necessary capital and liquidity to support Ally Bank. This support may be required at inopportune times for Ally.

Basel Capital Accord

The minimum risk-based capital requirements adopted by the federal banking agencies follow the Capital Accord of the Bank for International Settlements’ Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee). The Capital Accord was published in 1988 and generally applies to depository institutions and their holding companies in the United States. In 2004, the Basel Committee published a revision to the Capital Accord (Basel II). The goal of the Basel II capital rules is to provide more risk-sensitive regulatory capital calculations and promote enhanced risk management practices among large, internationally active banking organizations. U.S. banking regulators published final Basel II rules in December 2007. Ally is required to comply with the Basel II rules as implemented by the U.S. banking regulators. Prior to full implementation of the Basel II rules, Ally is required to complete a qualification period of four consecutive quarters during which it needs to demonstrate that it meets the requirements of the rules to the satisfaction of its primary U.S. banking regulator. The U.S. implementation timetable consists of the qualification period followed by a minimum transition period of three years. During the transition period, Basel II risk-based capital requirements cannot fall below certain floors based on pre-existing capital regulations (Basel I). Ally is currently in the qualification period and expects to be in compliance with all relevant Basel II rules within the established timelines.

In addition to Basel II, the Basel Committee recently adopted new capital, leverage, and liquidity guidelines under the Basel Accord (Basel III) that when implemented in the United States may have the effect of raising capital requirements beyond those required by current law and the Dodd-Frank Act. Basel III increases the minimum Tier 1 common equity ratio to 4.5%, net of regulatory deductions, and introduces a capital conservation buffer of an additional 2.5% of common equity to risk-weighted assets raising the target minimum common equity ratio to 7.0%. Basel III increases the minimum Tier 1 capital

 

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ratio to 8.5% inclusive of the capital conservation buffer, increases the minimum total capital ratio to 10.5% inclusive of the capital buffer, and introduces a countercyclical capital buffer of up to 2.5% of common equity or other fully loss absorbing capital for periods of excess credit growth. Basel III also introduces a nonrisk adjusted Tier 1 leverage ratio of 3%, based on a measure of the total exposure rather than total assets, and new liquidity standards. The Basel III capital, leverage, and liquidity standards will be phased in over a multiyear period. The Basel III rules, when implemented, will also impose a 15% cap on the amount of Tier 1 capital that can be met, in the aggregate, through significant investments in the common shares of unconsolidated financial subsidiaries, mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), and deferred tax assets through timing differences. In addition, under Basel III rules, after a ten-year phase out period beginning on January 13, 2013, trust preferred and other “hybrid” securities will no longer qualify as Tier 1 capital.

Troubled Asset Relief Program

As part of the Automotive Industry Financing Program created under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) established by the U.S. Department of Treasury (the Treasury) under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the EESA), Ally has entered into agreements pursuant to which the Treasury has purchased preferred stock and trust preferred securities of Ally. As a result of these investments, subject to certain exceptions, Ally and its subsidiaries are generally prohibited from paying certain dividends or distributions on, or redeeming, repurchasing, or acquiring any common stock without consent of the Treasury. Ally has further agreed that until the Treasury ceases to hold Ally preferred stock, Ally will comply with certain restrictions on executive privileges and compensation. Ally must also take all necessary action to ensure that its corporate governance and benefit plans with respect to its senior executive officers comply with Section 111(b) of the EESA as implemented by any guidance or regulation under the EESA, as amended by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law on February 17, 2009, as implemented by the Interim Final Rule issued by the Treasury on June 15, 2009. For further details regarding these restrictions on compensation as a result of TARP investments, refer to the Compensation Discussion and Analysis in Item 11.

Depository Institutions

On December 24, 2008, Ally Bank received approval from the UDFI to convert from an industrial bank to a commercial nonmember state-chartered bank. Ally Bank’s deposits are insured by the FDIC, and Ally Bank is required to file periodic reports with the FDIC concerning its financial condition. Total assets of Ally Bank were $70.3 billion and $55.3 billion at December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

As a commercial nonmember bank chartered by the State of Utah, Ally Bank is subject to various regulatory capital adequacy requirements administered by state and federal banking agencies. Failure to meet minimum capital requirements can initiate certain mandatory and discretionary actions by regulators that, if undertaken, could have a direct material effect on Ally Bank’s results of operations and financial condition. At December 31, 2010, we were in compliance with our regulatory capital requirements. For an additional discussion of capital adequacy requirements, refer to Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

International Banks, Finance Companies, and Other Non-U.S. Operations

Certain of our foreign subsidiaries operate in local markets as either banks or regulated finance companies and are subject to regulatory restrictions. These regulatory restrictions, among other things, require that our subsidiaries meet certain minimum capital requirements and may restrict dividend distributions and ownership of certain assets. Total assets of our regulated international banks and finance companies were approximately $14.5 billion and $13.6 billion at December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. In addition, the BHC Act imposes restrictions on Ally’s ability to invest equity abroad without FRB approval. Many of our other operations are also heavily regulated in many jurisdictions outside the United States.

U.S. Mortgage Business

Our U.S. mortgage business is subject to extensive federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations in addition to judicial and administrative decisions that impose requirements and restrictions on this business. As a Federal Housing Administration lender, certain of our U.S. mortgage subsidiaries are required to submit audited financial statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development on an annual basis. It is also subject to examination by the Federal Housing Commissioner to assure compliance with Federal Housing Administration regulations, policies, and procedures. The federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations to which our U.S. mortgage business is subject, among other things, impose licensing obligations and financial requirements; limit the interest rates, finance charges, and other fees that can be charged;

 

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regulate the use of credit reports and the reporting of credit information; impose underwriting requirements; regulate marketing techniques and practices; require the safeguarding of nonpublic information about customers; and regulate servicing practices, including the assessment, collection, foreclosure, claims handling, and investment and interest payments on escrow accounts. In addition, proposals have been enacted in the U.S. Congress and are under consideration by various regulatory authorities that would affect the manner in which GSEs conduct their business. Recently, the Obama administration released a report that recommended winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Insurance Companies

Our Insurance operations are subject to certain minimum aggregate capital requirements, net asset restrictions, and dividend restrictions under applicable state and foreign insurance law, and the rules and regulations promulgated by various U.S. and foreign regulatory agencies. Under various state and foreign insurance regulations, dividend distributions may be made only from statutory unassigned surplus with approvals required from the regulatory authorities for dividends in excess of certain statutory limitations. In addition, the BHC Act imposes restrictions on our ability to invest equity abroad without FRB approval.

Other Regulations

Some of the other more significant regulations that we are subject to include:

 

   

Privacy — The GLB Act imposes additional obligations on us to safeguard the information we maintain on our customers and permits customers to “opt-out” of information sharing with third parties. Regulations have been issued by several agencies that establish obligations to safeguard information. In addition, several states have enacted even more stringent privacy legislation. If a variety of inconsistent state privacy rules or requirements are enacted, our compliance costs could increase substantially.

 

   

Fair Credit Reporting Act — The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides a national legal standard for lenders to share information with affiliates and certain third parties and to provide firm offers of credit to consumers. In late 2003, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act was enacted, making this preemption of conflicting state and local law permanent. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was also amended to place further restrictions on the use of information sharing between affiliates, to provide new disclosures to consumers when risk-based pricing is used in the credit decision, and to help protect consumers from identity theft. All of these provisions impose additional regulatory and compliance costs on us and reduce the effectiveness of our marketing programs.

 

   

Truth in Lending Act — The Truth in Lending Act (TILA), as amended, and the Federal Reserve’s Regulation Z, which implements TILA, require lenders to provide borrowers with uniform, understandable information concerning terms and conditions in certain credit transactions. These rules apply to Ally and its subsidiaries in transactions in which they extend credit to consumers and require, in the case of certain mortgage and automotive financing transactions, conspicuous disclosure of the finance charge and annual percentage rate, if any. In addition, if an advertisement for credit states specific credit terms, Regulation Z requires that such advertisement state only those terms that actually are or will be arranged or offered by the creditor. Failure to comply with TILA can result in criminal and civil penalties.

 

   

Sarbanes-Oxley Act — The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 implements a broad range of corporate governance and accounting measures designed to promote honesty and transparency in corporate America. The principal provisions of the act include, among other things, (1) the creation of an independent accounting oversight board; (2) auditor independence provisions that restrict nonaudit services that accountants may provide to their audit clients; (3) additional corporate governance and responsibility measures including the requirement that the chief executive officer and chief financial officer certify financial statements; (4) the forfeiture of bonuses or other incentive-based compensation and profits from the sale of an issuer’s securities by directors and senior officers in the twelve-month period following initial publication of any financial statements that later require restatement; (5) an increase in the oversight of and enhancement of certain requirements relating to audit committees and how they interact with the independent auditors; (6) requirements that audit committee members must be independent and are barred from accepting consulting, advisory, or other compensatory fees from the issuer; (7) requirements that companies disclose whether at least one member of the audit committee is a “financial expert” (as defined by the SEC) and, if not, why the audit committee does not have a financial expert; (8) a prohibition on personal loans to directors and officers, except certain loans made by insured financial institutions, on nonpreferential terms and in compliance

 

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with other bank regulatory requirements; (9) disclosure of a code of ethics; (10) requirements that management assess the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting and that the Independent Registered Public Accounting firm attest to the assessment; and (11) a range of enhanced penalties for fraud and other violations.

 

   

USA PATRIOT Act/Anti-Money-Laundering Requirements — In 2001, the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act) was signed into law. Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act amends the Bank Secrecy Act and contains provisions designed to detect and prevent the use of the U.S. financial system for money laundering and terrorist financing activities by, among other things, imposing additional compliance obligations on bank holding companies, banks, trust companies, and securities broker-dealers. Pursuant to these laws, it is the obligation of covered institutions to identify their clients, monitor for and report on suspicious transactions, respond to requests for information by regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies, and share information with other financial institutions. To comply with applicable obligations, we have implemented necessary internal practices, procedures, and controls.

 

   

Other — Our Mortgage operations have subsidiaries that are required to maintain regulatory capital requirements under agreements with the GSEs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Employees

We had approximately 14,400 and 18,800 employees worldwide at December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Additional Information

The results of operations for each of our reportable operating segments and the products and services offered are contained in the individual business operations sections of Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. Financial information related to reportable operating segments and geographic areas is provided in Note 28 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K (and amendments to these reports) are available on our internet website, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. These reports are available at www.ally.com. Choose Investor Relations and then SEC Filings (under About Ally). These reports can also be found on the SEC website at www.sec.gov.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Our businesses face many risks and uncertainties, any of which could result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. We believe that the most significant of the risks and uncertainties that we face are described below. This Form 10-K is qualified in its entirety by these risk factors.

Risks Related to Regulation

Our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected by regulations to which we are subject as a result of our bank holding company status.

On December 24, 2008, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the FRB) approved our application to become a bank holding company under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the BHC Act). Many of the regulatory requirements to which we are subject as a bank holding company were not previously applicable to us and have and will continue to require significant expense and devotion of resources to fully implement processes that will be necessary to ensure compliance. Compliance with such laws and regulations involves substantial costs and may adversely affect our ability to operate profitably. Recent events, particularly in the financial and real estate markets, have resulted in bank regulatory agencies placing increased focus and scrutiny on participants in the financial services industry, including us. For a description of our regulatory requirements, see Certain Regulatory Matters in Item 1. Business.

Ally is subject to ongoing supervision by the FRB, and Ally Bank by the FDIC and Utah Department of Financial Institutions (the Utah DFI), in each case, through regular examinations and other means that allow the regulators to gauge management’s ability to identify, assess, and control risk in all areas of operations in a safe-and-sound manner and to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. As a result of Ally’s conversion to a bank holding company, Ally and Ally Bank have been required to implement policies and procedures and take other actions to improve their current processes and to seek to ensure adherence to applicable regulatory guidelines and standards.

 

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Ally is currently required by its banking supervisors to make improvements in areas such as board and senior management oversight, risk management, regulatory reporting, internal audit planning, capital adequacy process, stress testing, and Bank Secrecy Act / anti-money laundering compliance, and to continue to reduce problem assets. Separately, Ally Bank is currently required by its banking supervisors to make improvements in areas such as compliance management and training, consumer protection monitoring, consumer complaint resolution, internal audit program and residential mortgage loan pricing, and fee monitoring. These requirements are judicially enforceable, and if we are unable to implement and maintain these required actions, plans, policies and procedures in a timely and effective manner and otherwise comply with the requirements outlined above, we could become subject to formal supervisory actions which could subject us to significant restrictions on our existing business or on our ability to develop any new business. Such forms of supervisory action could include, without limitation, written agreements, cease and desist orders, and consent orders and may, among other things, result in restrictions on our ability to pay dividends, requirements to increase capital, restrictions on our activities, the imposition of civil monetary penalties, and enforcement of such action through injunctions or restraining orders. We could also be required to dispose of certain assets and liabilities within a prescribed period. The terms of any such supervisory action could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating flexibility, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our ability to engage in certain activities may be adversely affected by our status as a bank holding company.

As a bank holding company, Ally’s activities are generally limited to banking or to managing or controlling banks or other companies engaged in activities deemed closely related to banking or otherwise permissible under the BHC Act and related regulations. Likewise, Ally generally may not hold more than 5% of any class of voting shares of any company unless that company’s activities conform with the above requirements. Upon our bank holding company approval, we were permitted an initial two-year grace period to bring our activities and investments into conformity with these restrictions. This initial grace period expired in December 2010; however, the FRB has granted a one-year extension that expires in December 2011. We will be permitted to apply to the FRB for up to two additional one-year extensions. Certain of Ally’s existing activities and investments, including certain of our insurance activities and our SmartAuction vehicle remarketing services, are deemed impermissible under the BHC Act and must be terminated or disposed of by the expiration of this extension and any additional extensions. While some of these activities may be continued if Ally is able to convert to a financial holding company under the BHC Act, Ally may be unable to satisfy the requirements to enable it to convert to a financial holding company prior to that time, and activities, businesses, or investments that would be permissible for a financial holding company will need to be terminated or disposed of. The FRB may also decline to grant any additional requested extensions, and Ally may be obligated to terminate or dispose of any impermissible activities, businesses, or investments more quickly than anticipated or under terms less advantageous to Ally than expected. Either situation could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial position.

As a bank holding company, our ability to expand into new business activities requires us to obtain the prior approval of the relevant banking supervisors. There can be no assurance that any required approval will be obtained or that we will be able to execute on these plans in a timely manner or at all. If we are unable to obtain approval to expand into new business activities, our business, results of operations, and financial position may be materially adversely affected.

Our business and financial condition could be adversely affected as a result of issues relating to mortgage foreclosures, home sales, and evictions in certain states.

Representatives of federal and state governments, including the United States Department of Justice, the FRB, the FDIC, the SEC, and law enforcement authorities in all 50 states, have announced investigations into the procedures followed by mortgage servicing companies and banks, including subsidiaries of Ally, in connection with mortgage foreclosure home sales and evictions. We are cooperating with these investigations. The result of these investigations is uncertain, but we expect that Ally or its subsidiaries will become subject to fines, penalties, sanctions or other adverse actions by one or more of these regulators. Any of these potential actions could have a material adverse impact on us.

On September 17, 2010, GMAC Mortgage, LLC (GMACM), our indirect wholly owned subsidiary, temporarily suspended mortgage foreclosure home sales and evictions and postponed hearings on motions for judgment in certain states. This decision was made after an operational matter was detected in the execution of certain affidavits used in connection with judicial foreclosures in some but not all states. The issue relates to whether persons signing the affidavits had appropriately verified the information in them and whether they were signed in the immediate physical presence of a notary. In response to

 

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this and to enhance existing procedures, GMACM has recently implemented supplemental procedures that are used in all new foreclosure cases to seek to ensure that affidavits are prepared in compliance with applicable law. GMACM is also conducting an additional review of all foreclosure files in all states prior to proceeding with foreclosure sales.

Our review related to this matter is ongoing, and we cannot predict the ultimate impact of any deficiencies that have been or may be identified in our historical foreclosure procedures. However, thus far we have not found any evidence of unwarranted foreclosures. There are potential risks related to these matters that extend beyond potential liability on individual foreclosure actions. Specific risks could include, for example, claims and litigation related to foreclosure file remediation and resubmission; claims from investors that hold securities that become adversely impacted by continued delays in the foreclosure process; actions by courts, state attorneys general, or regulators to delay further the foreclosure process after submission of corrected affidavits; regulatory fines, sanctions, and other additional costs; and reputational risks. If the magnitude of any negative impact related to the foregoing proves to be material, it could have an adverse affect on our business, results of operations, and financial position.

Our ability to execute our business strategy may be affected by regulatory considerations.

Our business strategy for Ally Bank, which includes further expansion of both automotive and mortgage lending, is subject to regulatory oversight from a safety and soundness perspective. If our banking supervisors determine that any aspect of our business strategy for Ally Bank raises any safety and soundness concerns, we may be obliged to alter our strategy, including by moving certain activities, such as certain types of lending, outside of Ally Bank to one of our nonbanking affiliates. Alternative funding sources outside of Ally Bank, such as asset securitization or financings in the capital markets, could be more expensive than funding through Ally Bank and could adversely affect our business prospects, results of operations and financial condition.

Our ability to rely on deposits as a part of our funding strategy may be limited.

Ally Bank continues to be a key part of our funding strategy, and we have increased our reliance on deposits as an alternative source of funding through Ally Bank. Ally Bank does not have a retail branch network, and it obtains its deposits through direct banking and brokered deposits (which, at December 31, 2010, included $10 billion of brokered certificates of deposit that may be more price sensitive than other types of deposits and may become less available if alternative investments offer higher interest rates). Our ability to maintain our current level of deposits or grow our deposit base could be affected by regulatory restrictions including the possible imposition of prior approval requirements, restrictions on deposit growth or restrictions on our rates offered. In addition, perceptions of our financial strength, rates offered by third parties, and other competitive factors beyond our control, including returns on alternative investments, will also impact our ability to grow our deposit base. Even if we are able to grow the deposit base of Ally Bank, our regulators may impose restrictions on our ability to use Ally Bank deposits as a source of funding for certain business activities potentially raising the cost of funding those activities without the use of Ally Bank deposits.

The FDIC has indicated that it expects Ally to diversify Ally Bank’s overall funding and to focus on reducing Ally Bank’s overall funding costs including the interest rates paid on Ally Bank deposits. Any such actions could limit Ally Bank’s ability to grow and maintain deposits, which could have a material adverse impact on the funding and capital position of Ally.

The regulatory environment in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business and earnings.

Our domestic operations are subject to various laws and judicial and administrative decisions imposing various requirements and restrictions relating to supervision and regulation by state and federal authorities. Such regulation and supervision are primarily for the benefit and protection of our customers, not for the benefit of investors in our securities, and could limit our discretion in operating our business. Noncompliance with applicable statutes, regulations, rules, or policies could result in the suspension or revocation of any license or registration at issue as well as the imposition of civil fines and criminal penalties.

Ally, Ally Bank, and many of our nonbank subsidiaries are heavily regulated by bank and other regulatory agencies at the federal and state levels. This regulatory oversight is established to protect depositors, the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund, and the banking system as a whole, not security holders. Changes to statutes, regulations, rules, or policies including the interpretation or implementation of statutes, regulations, rules, or policies could affect us in substantial and unpredictable ways including limiting the types of financial services and products we may offer, limiting our ability to pursue acquisitions and increasing the ability of third parties to offer competing financial services and products.

 

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Our operations are also heavily regulated in many jurisdictions outside the United States. For example, certain of our foreign subsidiaries operate either as a bank or a regulated finance company, and our insurance operations are subject to various requirements in the foreign markets in which we operate. The varying requirements of these jurisdictions may be inconsistent with U.S. rules and may materially adversely affect our business or limit necessary regulatory approvals, or if approvals are obtained, we may not be able to continue to comply with the terms of the approvals or applicable regulations. In addition, in many countries, the regulations applicable to the financial services industry are uncertain and evolving, and it may be difficult for us to determine the exact regulatory requirements.

Our inability to remain in compliance with regulatory requirements in a particular jurisdiction could have a material adverse effect on our operations in that market with regard to the affected product and on our reputation generally. No assurance can be given that applicable laws or regulations will not be amended or construed differently, that new laws and regulations will not be adopted, or that we will not be prohibited by local laws or regulators from raising interest rates above certain desired levels, any of which could materially adversely affect our business, operating flexibility, financial condition, or results of operations.

Financial services legislative and regulatory reforms may have a significant impact on our business and results of operations.

On July 21, 2010, the President of the United States signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act). The Dodd-Frank Act will have material implications for Ally and the entire financial services industry. Among other things, it will or potentially could:

 

   

result in Ally being subject to enhanced oversight and scrutiny as a result of being a bank holding company with $50 billion or more in consolidated assets;

 

   

result in the appointment of the FDIC as receiver of Ally in an orderly liquidation proceeding if the Secretary of the Treasury, upon recommendation of two-thirds of the FRB and the FDIC and in consultation with the President of the United States, finds Ally to be in default or danger of default;

 

   

affect the levels of capital and liquidity with which Ally must operate and how it plans capital and liquidity levels;

 

   

subject Ally to new and/or higher fees paid to various regulatory entities, including but not limited to deposit insurance fees to the FDIC;

 

   

impact Ally’s ability to invest in certain types of entities or engage in certain activities;

 

   

impact a number of Ally’s business and risk management strategies;

 

   

restrict the revenue that Ally generates from certain businesses; and

 

   

subject Ally to a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will have very broad rule-making and enforcement authorities.

As the Dodd-Frank Act requires that many studies be conducted and that hundreds of regulations be written in order to fully implement it, the full impact of this legislation on Ally, its business strategies, and financial performance cannot be known at this time and may not be known for a number of years. In addition, regulations may impact us differently in comparison to other more established financial institutions. However, these impacts are expected to be substantial and some of them are likely to adversely affect Ally and its financial performance. The extent to which Ally can adjust its strategies to offset such adverse impacts also is not knowable at this time.

Our business may be adversely affected upon our implementation of the revised capital requirements under the Basel III capital rules.

The Bank for International Settlements’ Basel Committee on Banking Supervision recently adopted new capital, leverage and liquidity guidelines under the Basel Accord (Basel III), which, when implemented in the United States, may have the

 

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effect of raising capital requirements beyond those required by current law and the Dodd Frank Act. Basel III increases (i) the minimum Tier 1 common equity ratio to 4.5%, net of regulatory deductions, and introduces a capital conservation buffer of an additional 2.5% of common equity to risk-weighted assets, raising the target minimum common equity ratio to 7.0% and (ii) the minimum Tier 1 capital ratio to 8.5% inclusive of the capital conservation buffer, increases the minimum total capital ratio to 10.5% inclusive of the capital buffer and introduces a countercyclical capital buffer of up to 2.5% of common equity or other fully loss absorbing capital for periods of excess credit growth. Basel III also introduces a nonrisk adjusted Tier 1 leverage ratio of 3%, based on a measure of the total exposure rather than total assets, and new liquidity standards. The Basel III capital, leverage and liquidity standards will be phased in over a multiyear period. The Basel III rules, when implemented, will also impose a 15% cap on the amount of Tier 1 capital that can be met, in the aggregate, through significant investments in the common shares of unconsolidated financial subsidiaries, mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) and deferred tax assets through timing differences. In addition, under Basel III rules, after a 10-year phase-out period beginning on January 13, 2013, trust preferred and other “hybrid” securities will no longer qualify as Tier 1 capital. Ally has significant MSRs and a significant amount of trust preferred securities outstanding and the Basel III rules, when implemented, will impose limits on Ally’s ability to meet its regulatory capital requirements through either means.

If we or Ally Bank fail to satisfy regulatory capital requirements, we or Ally Bank may be subject to serious regulatory sanctions ranging in severity from being precluded from making acquisitions or engaging in new activities to becoming subject to informal or formal supervisory actions by the FRB and/or FDIC and, potentially, FDIC receivership of Ally Bank. If any of these were to occur, such actions could prevent us from successfully executing our business plan and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial position.

The actions of the FRB and international central banking authorities directly impact our cost of funds for lending, capital raising, and investment activities and may impact the value of financial instruments we hold. In addition, such changes in monetary policy may affect the credit quality of our customers. Changes in domestic and international monetary policy are beyond our control and difficult to predict.

Future consumer or mortgage legislation could harm our competitive position.

In addition to the recent enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, various legislative bodies have also recently been considering altering the existing framework governing creditors’ rights and mortgage products including legislation that would result in or allow loan modifications of various sorts. Such legislation may change banking statutes and the operating environment in substantial and unpredictable ways. If enacted, such legislation could increase or decrease the cost of doing business; limit or expand permissible activities; or affect the competitive balance among banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other financial institutions. We cannot predict whether new legislation will be enacted, and if enacted, the effect that it or any regulations would have on our activities, financial condition, or results of operations.

Ally and its subsidiaries are or may become involved from time to time in information-gathering requests, investigations and proceedings by government and self-regulatory agencies which may lead to adverse consequences.

Ally and its subsidiaries, including Ally Bank, are or may become involved from time to time in information-gathering requests, reviews, investigations, and proceedings (both formal and informal) by government and self-regulatory agencies, including the FRB, FDIC, Utah DFI, and SEC regarding their respective operations. Such matters may result in determinations of material weaknesses in our controls and procedures or material adverse consequences including without limitation, adverse judgments, settlements, fines, penalties, injunctions, or other actions.

Our business, financial position, and results of operations could be adversely affected by the impact of affiliate transaction restrictions imposed in connection with certain financing transactions.

Certain transactions between Ally Bank and any of its nonbank “affiliates,” including but not limited to us and ResCap, are subject to federal statutory and regulatory restrictions. Pursuant to these restrictions, unless otherwise exempted, “covered transactions,” including Ally Bank’s extensions of credit to and asset purchases from its nonbank affiliates, generally (1) are limited to 10% of Ally Bank’s capital stock and surplus with an aggregate limit of 20% of Ally Bank’s capital stock and surplus for all such transactions; (2) in the case of certain credit transactions, are subject to stringent collateralization requirements; (3) in the case of asset purchases by Ally Bank, may not involve the purchase of any asset deemed to be a “low quality asset” under federal banking guidelines; and (4) must be conducted in accordance with safe-and-sound banking practices (collectively,

 

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the Affiliate Transaction Restrictions). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, among other changes to Sections 23A and 23B of the Federal Reserve Act, credit exposures resulting from derivatives transactions and securities lending and borrowing transactions will be treated as “covered transactions.” Furthermore, there is an “attribution rule” that provides that a transaction between Ally Bank and a third party will be treated as a transaction between Ally Bank and a nonbank affiliate to the extent that the proceeds of the transaction are used for the benefit of, or transferred to, a nonbank affiliate of Ally Bank. Retail financing transactions by Ally Bank involving vehicles floor financed by Ally Financial are subject to the Affiliate Transaction Restrictions because the proceeds of the retail financings are deemed to benefit, and are ultimately transferred to, Ally.

The FRB is authorized to exempt, in its discretion, transactions or relationships from the requirements of these rules if it finds such exemptions to be in the public interest and consistent with the purposes of the rules. The FRB has granted several such exemptions to Ally Bank. However, the existing exemptions are subject to various conditions and any requests for future exemptions may not be granted. Moreover, these limited exemptions generally do not encompass consumer leasing or used vehicle financing. Since there is no assurance that Ally Bank will be able to obtain any further exemptions or waivers with respect to these restrictions, the ability to grow Ally Bank’s business will be affected by the Affiliate Transaction Restrictions and the conditions set forth in these exemption letters.

Ally may in the future require distributions from its subsidiaries.

We currently fund Ally’s obligations, including dividend payments to our preferred shareholders, and payments of interest and principal on our indebtedness, from cash generated by Ally. In the future, Ally may not generate sufficient funds at the parent company level to fund its obligations. As such, Ally may require dividends, distributions, or other payments from its subsidiaries to fund its obligations. However, regulatory and other legal restrictions may limit the ability of Ally’s subsidiaries to transfer funds freely to Ally. In particular, many of Ally’s subsidiaries are subject to laws, regulations, and rules that authorize regulatory bodies to block or reduce the flow of funds to Ally or that prohibit such transfers entirely in certain circumstances. These laws, regulations, and rules may hinder Ally’s ability to access funds that it may need to make payments on its obligations in the future. Furthermore, as a bank holding company, Ally may become subject to a prohibition or to limitations on its ability to pay dividends. The bank regulators have the authority and, under certain circumstances, the duty to prohibit or to limit payment of dividends by the banking organizations they supervise, including Ally and its subsidiaries.

Current and future increases in FDIC insurance premiums, including the FDIC special assessment imposed on all FDIC-insured institutions, could decrease our earnings.

During 2008 and continuing in 2009 and 2010, higher levels of bank failures have dramatically increased resolution costs of the FDIC and depleted the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF). In May 2009, the FDIC announced that it had voted to levy a special assessment on insured institutions in order to facilitate the rebuilding of the DIF. In September 2009, the FDIC voted to adopt an increase in the risk-based assessment rate effective beginning January 1, 2011, by three basis points. Further, the Dodd-Frank Act alters the calculation of an insured institution’s deposit base for purposes of deposit insurance assessments and removes the upper limit for the reserve ratio designated by the FDIC each year. On February 7, 2011, the FDIC approved a final rule implementing these changes, which will take effect April 1, 2011. The FDIC will continue to assess the changes to the assessment rates at least annually. Future deposit premiums paid by Ally Bank depend on the level of the DIF and the magnitude and cost of future bank failures. Any increases in deposit insurance assessments could decrease our earnings.

Risks Related to Our Business

The profitability and financial condition of our operations are heavily dependent upon the performance, operations, and prospects of GM and Chrysler.

GM, GM dealers, and GM-related employees compose a significant portion of our customer base, and our domestic and, in particular, our International Automotive Finance operations are highly dependent on GM production and sales volume. In 2010, 66% of our North American new vehicle dealer inventory financing and 66% of our North American new vehicle consumer automotive financing volume were for GM dealers and customers. In addition, 90% of our international new vehicle dealer inventory financing and 82% of our international new vehicle consumer automotive financing volume were for GM dealers and customers. Furthermore, we have expanded our financing footprint to Chrysler dealers and customers. We have entered into an agreement with Chrysler to provide automotive financing products and services to Chrysler dealers and

 

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customers pursuant to which we will be the preferred provider of new wholesale financing for Chrysler dealer inventory. In 2010, 26% of our North American new vehicle dealer inventory financing and 31% of our North American new vehicle consumer automotive financing volume were for Chrysler dealers and customers.

Ally’s agreements with GM and Chrysler to provide automotive financing products to their dealers and customers extend through December and April 2013, respectively. These agreements provide Ally with certain preferred provider benefits including limiting the use of other financing providers by GM and Chrysler in their incentive programs. The terms of the Ally agreement with GM changed after January 1, 2011, such that GM is now able to offer any incentive programs on a graduated basis through third parties on a nonexclusive, side-by-side basis with Ally, provided that the pricing of the third parties meets certain requirements. Due to the highly competitive nature of the market for financial services, Ally may be unable to extend one or both of these agreements or may face less favorable terms upon extension. If Ally is unable to extend one or both of these agreements or if GM enters a similar agreement with a third party, Ally’s retail financing volumes could be materially and adversely impacted.

On October 1, 2010, GM acquired AmeriCredit Corp. (which GM subsequently renamed General Motors Financial Company, Inc.), an independent automotive finance company that focuses on providing leasing and subprime financing options. If GM were to direct substantially more business, including wholesale financing business, to its captive on noncommercial terms thus reducing its reliance on our services over time, it could have a material adverse effect on our profitability and financial condition. In addition, it is possible that GM or other automotive manufacturers could utilize other existing companies to support their financing needs including offering products or terms that we would not or could not offer, which could have a material adverse impact on our business and operations. Furthermore, other automotive manufacturers could expand or establish or acquire captive finance companies to support their financing needs thus reducing their need for our services.

A significant adverse change in GM’s or Chrysler’s business, including significant adverse changes in their respective liquidity position and access to the capital markets; the production or sale of GM or Chrysler vehicles; the quality or resale value of GM or Chrysler vehicles; the use of GM or Chrysler marketing incentives; GM’s or Chrysler’s relationships with its key suppliers; or GM’s or Chrysler’s relationship with the United Auto Workers and other labor unions and other factors impacting GM or Chrysler or their respective employees, could have a material adverse effect on our profitability and financial condition. In addition, growth in our International Automotive Finance operations are highly dependent on GM, and therefore any significant change to GM’s international business or our relationship with GM may hinder our ability achieve our stated goal of expanding internationally.

There is no assurance that the global automotive market or GM’s and Chrysler’s respective share of that market will not suffer downturns in the future. Vehicle sales volume could be further adversely affected by any additional restructuring activities that GM or Chrysler may decide to pursue, if any. Any negative impact could in turn have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial position.

Our business requires substantial capital and liquidity, and disruption in our funding sources and access to the capital markets would have a material adverse effect on our liquidity, capital positions, and financial condition.

Our liquidity and the long-term viability of Ally depend on many factors including our ability to successfully raise capital and secure appropriate bank financing. We are currently required to maintain a Total risk-based capital ratio of 15% and a Tier 1 leverage ratio of 15% at Ally Bank. The latter will require that Ally maintain substantial equity funds in Ally Bank and inject substantial additional equity funds into Ally Bank as Ally Bank’s assets increase over time.

We have significant maturities of unsecured debt each year. While we have reduced our reliance on unsecured funding, it continues to remain a critical component of our capital structure and financing plans. At December 31, 2010, approximately $9.5 billion in principal amount of total outstanding consolidated unsecured debt is scheduled to mature in 2011, and approximately $12.6 billion and $1.9 billion in principal amount of consolidated unsecured debt is scheduled to mature in 2012 and 2013, respectively, which includes $7.4 billion in principal amount of debt issued under the FDIC’s Temporary Liquidity Guaranty Program that matures in 2012. We also obtain short-term funding from the sale by Ally of floating rate demand notes, all of which the holders may elect to have redeemed by Ally at any time without restriction. At December 31, 2010, a total of $2 billion in principal amount of demand notes were outstanding. We also rely on secured funding. At December 31, 2010, approximately $13.5 billion of outstanding consolidated secured debt is scheduled to mature

 

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in 2011, approximately $9.1 billion is scheduled to mature in 2012, and approximately $8.6 billion is scheduled to mature in 2013. Furthermore, at December 31, 2010, approximately $11.8 billion in certificates of deposit at Ally Bank is scheduled to mature in 2011, which is not included in the 2011 unsecured maturities provided above. Additional financing will be required to fund a material portion of the debt maturities over this period. The capital markets continue to be volatile, and Ally’s access to the debt markets may be significantly reduced during periods of market stress. In addition, we will continue to have significant original issue discount amortization expenses (OID expense) in the near future, which will adversely affect our net income and resulting capital position. OID expense was $303 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, and the scheduled amortization is $975 million, $350 million, and $263 million in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively.

As a result of the volatility in the markets and our current unsecured debt ratings, we have increased our reliance on various secured debt markets. Although market conditions have improved, there can be no assurances that this will continue. In addition, we continue to rely on our ability to borrow from other financial institutions, and many of our primary bank facilities are up for renewal on a yearly basis. Any weakness in market conditions and a tightening of credit availability could have a negative effect on our ability to refinance these facilities and increase the costs of bank funding. In particular, our $7.9 billion syndicated facility that can fund our U.S. and Canadian automotive retail and commercial loans as well as leases is set to mature in June 2011 and Ally Bank’s $7.0 billion revolving syndicated credit facility is set to mature in April 2011. While we plan to renew these facilities, we cannot be certain that we will be able to renew them on terms favorable or acceptable to us. Ally and Ally Bank also continue to access the securitization markets. While markets have begun to stabilize following the recent liquidity crisis, there can be no assurances these sources of liquidity will remain available to us.

Our indebtedness and other obligations are significant and could materially and adversely affect our business.

We have a significant amount of indebtedness. At December 31, 2010, we had approximately $96.8 billion in principal amount of indebtedness outstanding (including $42.4 billion in secured indebtedness). Interest expense on our indebtedness constituted approximately 54% of our total financing revenue and other interest income for the year ended December 31, 2010. In addition, during the twelve months ending December 31, 2010, we declared and paid preferred stock dividends of $1.2 billion in the aggregate.

We have the ability to create additional unsecured indebtedness. If our debt service obligations increase, whether due to the increased cost of existing indebtedness or the incurrence of additional indebtedness, we may be required to dedicate a significant portion of our cash flow from operations to the payment of principal of, and interest on, our indebtedness, which would reduce the funds available for other purposes. Our indebtedness also could limit our ability to withstand competitive pressures and reduce our flexibility in responding to changing business and economic conditions.

The worldwide financial services industry is highly competitive. If we are unable to compete successfully or if there is increased competition in the automotive financing, mortgage, and/or insurance markets or generally in the markets for securitizations or asset sales, our business could be negatively affected.

The markets for automotive and mortgage financing, banking, and insurance are highly competitive. The market for automotive financing, in particular the used vehicle market, has grown more competitive as more consumers are financing their new and used vehicle purchases, primarily in North America and Europe. Our mortgage business and Ally Bank face significant competition from commercial banks, savings institutions, mortgage companies, and other financial institutions. Our insurance business faces significant competition from insurance carriers, reinsurers, third-party administrators, brokers, and other insurance-related companies. Many of our competitors have substantial positions nationally or in the markets in which they operate. Some of our competitors have lower cost structures, have lower costs of capital, and are less reliant on securitization and sale activities. We face significant competition in various areas including product offerings, rates, pricing and fees, and customer service. If we are unable to compete effectively in the markets in which we operate, our profitability and financial condition could be negatively affected.

The markets for asset and mortgage securitizations and whole-loan sales are competitive, and other issuers and originators could increase the amount of their issuances and sales. In addition, lenders and other investors within those markets often establish limits on their credit exposure to particular issuers, originators, and asset classes, or they may require higher returns to increase the amount of their exposure. Increased issuance by other participants in the market or decisions by investors to limit their credit exposure to (or to require a higher yield for) us or to automotive or mortgage securitizations or whole loans could negatively affect our ability and that of our subsidiaries to price our securitizations and whole-loan sales at attractive rates. The result would be lower proceeds from these activities and lower profits for our subsidiaries and us.

 

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Our allowance for loan losses may not be adequate to cover actual losses, and we may be required to materially increase our allowance, which may adversely affect our capital, financial condition, and results of operations.

We maintain an allowance for loan losses, which is a reserve established through a provision for loan losses charged to expenses, which represents management’s best estimate of probable credit losses that have been incurred within the existing portfolio of loans, all as described under Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. The allowance, in the judgment of management, is established to reserve for estimated loan losses and risks inherent in the loan portfolio. The determination of the appropriate level of the allowance for loan losses inherently involves a high degree of subjectivity and requires us to make significant estimates of current credit risks using existing qualitative and quantitative information, all of which may undergo material changes. Changes in economic conditions affecting borrowers, new information regarding existing loans, identification of additional problem loans, and other factors, both within and outside of our control, may require an increase in the allowance for loan losses.

Bank regulatory agencies periodically review our allowance for loan losses, as well as our methodology for calculating our allowance for loan losses and may require an increase in the provision for loan losses or the recognition of additional loan charge-offs, based on judgments different than those of management. An increase in the allowance for loan losses results in a decrease in net income and capital and may have a material adverse effect on our capital, financial condition and results of operations.

Our mortgage subsidiary, ResCap, requires substantial liquidity and capital which could have an adverse effect on our own capital and liquidity position.

ResCap remains heavily reliant on support from us to meet its liquidity and capital requirements, which includes approximately $2.3 billion in principal amount of indebtedness scheduled to mature in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In addition, ResCap has commitments to lend up to $2.3 billion under existing home equity lines of credit it has extended to customers. Recent developments in the market for many types of mortgage products (including mortgage-backed securities) have resulted in reduced liquidity for these assets. As a result, a significant portion of ResCap’s assets are relatively illiquid. Any negative events with respect to ResCap could serve as a further drain on our financial resources.

Pursuant to an existing contractual arrangement, ResCap is precluded from paying any dividends to us, including any additional capital that we may provide in the future, if any.

ResCap employs various economic hedging strategies to mitigate the interest rate and prepayment risk inherent in many of its assets including its mortgage loans held-for-sale portfolio, MSRs, its portfolio of held-for-investment mortgage loans, and interests from securitizations. A significant portion of ResCap’s operating cash at any given time may consist of funds delivered to it as credit support by counterparties to these arrangements. However, interest rate movements during 2010 required ResCap to return a significant amount of such funds. As interest rates change and dependent upon the hedge position, ResCap may need to continue to repay or deliver cash as credit support for these arrangements. If the amount ResCap must repay or deliver is substantial, depending on its liquidity position at that time, ResCap may not be able to pay such amounts as required.

The protracted period of adverse developments in the mortgage finance and credit markets has adversely affected ResCap’s business, liquidity, and its capital position and has raised substantial doubt about ResCap’s ability to continue as a going concern.

ResCap has been adversely affected by the events and conditions in the broader mortgage banking industry, most severely but not limited to the domestic nonprime and nonconforming and international mortgage loan markets. Fair market valuations of held-for-sale mortgage loans, MSRs, and securitized interests that continue to be held by ResCap and other assets and liabilities ResCap records at fair value may continue to deteriorate if there continues to be weakness in housing prices, increasing mortgage rates, or increased severity of delinquencies and defaults of mortgage loans. These deteriorating factors previously resulted in higher provision for loan losses on ResCap’s held-for-investment mortgage loans and real estate-lending portfolios. As a direct result of these events and conditions, ResCap discontinued new originations in all of its international operations and sold its U.K. and European operations and currently generally only purchases or originates mortgage loans that can be sold in the form of securitizations guaranteed by the GSEs. If the GSEs became unable or unwilling to purchase mortgage loans from ResCap, it would have a materially adverse impact on ResCap’s funding and liquidity and on its ability to originate or purchase new mortgage loans.

 

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ResCap is highly leveraged relative to its cash flow and has previously recognized substantial losses resulting in a significant deterioration in capital. There continues to be a risk that ResCap will not be able to meet its debt service obligations, will default on its financial debt covenants due to insufficient capital or liquidity, and/or be in a negative liquidity position in 2011 or beyond. ResCap remains heavily dependent on Ally for funding and capital support, and there can be no assurance that Ally will continue to provide such support.

In light of ResCap’s liquidity and capital needs combined with volatile conditions in the marketplace, there is substantial doubt about ResCap’s ability to continue as a going concern. If Ally determines to no longer support ResCap’s capital or liquidity needs or if ResCap or Ally are unable to successfully execute effective initiatives, it could have a material adverse effect on ResCap’s business, results of operations, and financial position.

There is a significant risk that ResCap will not be able to meet its debt service obligations and other funding obligations in the near term.

ResCap expects its liquidity pressures to continue in 2011. ResCap is highly leveraged relative to its cash flow. At December 31, 2010, ResCap’s unrestricted liquidity (cash readily available to cover operating demands from across its business operations) totaled $444 million with cash and cash equivalents totaling $672 million.

ResCap expects that additional and continuing liquidity pressure, which is difficult to forecast with precision, will result from the obligation of its subsidiaries to advance delinquent principal, interest, property taxes, casualty insurance premiums, home equity line advances, and certain other amounts with respect to mortgage loans its subsidiaries service that become delinquent. In addition, ResCap continues to be subject to financial covenants requiring it to maintain minimum consolidated tangible net worth and consolidated liquidity balances. ResCap will attempt to meet these and other liquidity and capital demands through a combination of cash flow from operations and financings, potential asset sales, and other various alternatives. To the extent these sources prove insufficient, ResCap will be dependent on continued support from Ally to the extent Ally agrees to provide such support. Ally currently provides funding and capital support to ResCap through various facilities, including a $500 million unsecured line of credit. The sufficiency of these sources of additional liquidity cannot be assured, and any asset sales, even if they raise sufficient cash to meet ResCap’s liquidity needs, may adversely affect its overall profitability and financial condition.

Moreover, even if ResCap is successful in implementing all of the actions described above, its ability to satisfy its liquidity needs and comply with any covenants included in its debt agreements requiring maintenance of minimum cash balances may be affected by additional factors and events (such as interest rate fluctuations and margin calls) that increase ResCap’s cash needs making ResCap unable to independently satisfy its near term liquidity requirements.

We have extensive financing and hedging arrangements with ResCap, which could be at risk of nonpayment if ResCap were to file for bankruptcy.

We have secured financing arrangements and secured hedging agreements in place with ResCap. Amounts outstanding under the secured financing and hedging arrangements fluctuate. If ResCap were to file for bankruptcy, ResCap’s repayments of its financing facilities, including those with us, will be subject to bankruptcy proceedings and regulations, or ResCap may be unable to repay its financing facilities. In addition, we could be an unsecured creditor of ResCap to the extent that the proceeds from the sale of our collateral are insufficient to repay ResCap’s obligations to us. In addition, it is possible that other ResCap creditors would seek to recharacterize our loans to ResCap as equity contributions or to seek equitable subordination of our claims so that the claims of other creditors would have priority over our claims. We may also find it advantageous to provide debtor-in-possession financing to ResCap in a bankruptcy proceeding in order to preserve the value of the collateral ResCap has pledged to us. In addition, should ResCap file for bankruptcy, our investment related to ResCap’s equity position would likely be reduced to zero, and creditors of ResCap may attempt to assert claims directly against us for payment of their obligations.

We may be required to repurchase mortgage or other loans or indemnify investors if we breach representations and warranties, which could harm our profitability.

When we sell mortgage or other loans (such as retail automotive contracts) through whole-loan sales or securitizations, we are required to make customary representations and warranties about the loans to the purchaser or securitization trust. These representations and warranties relate to, among other things, the ownership of the loan, the validity of the lien securing

 

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the loan, the loan’s compliance with the criteria for inclusion in the transaction, including compliance with underwriting standards or loan criteria established by the buyer, ability to deliver required documentation, and compliance with applicable laws. Generally, the representations and warranties described above may be enforced at any time over the life of the loan.

We use estimates and assumptions in determining our reserves for representation and warranty exposure. It is difficult to determine the accuracy of our estimates and assumptions, and our actual experience may differ materially from these estimates and assumptions. A material difference between our estimates and assumptions and our actual experience may materially adversely affect our cash flow, profitability and financial condition.

As the mortgage industry continues to experience higher repurchase requirements and additional investors begin to attempt to put back loans, a significant increase in activity beyond that experienced today could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial position.

Certain of our mortgage subsidiaries face potential legal liability resulting from legal claims related to the sale of private-label mortgage-backed securities.

Claims related to private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) have been brought under federal and state securities laws and contract laws (among other theories), and it is possible that additional similar claims, including claims from other third-party claimants, will be brought in the future. The claims made to date are similar in some respects to the repurchase demands we have previously disclosed related to alleged breaches of representations and warranties that our mortgage subsidiaries made in connection with mortgage loans they sold or securitized. Further, and as previously disclosed, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced on July 12, 2010, that it issued 64 subpoenas to various entities seeking documents related to PLS in which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had invested. Certain of our mortgage subsidiaries received such subpoenas. In connection with our settlement with Fannie Mae announced on December 23, 2010, the FHFA has agreed to withdraw the subpoenas that relate to Fannie Mae. However, we continue to respond to the subpoenas related to Freddie Mac. The FHFA has indicated that documents provided in response to the subpoenas will enable the FHFA to determine whether they believe issuers of PLS are potentially liable to Freddie Mac for losses they might have suffered. A final outcome in any existing or future legal proceeding related to the foregoing, if unfavorable, could result in additional liability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, results of operations, or financial condition.

Changes in existing U.S. government-sponsored mortgage programs, restrictions on our access to such programs, or disruptions in the secondary markets in the United States or in other countries in which we operate could adversely affect our profitability and financial condition.

Our ability to generate revenue through mortgage loan sales to institutional investors in the United States depends to a significant degree on programs administered by the GSEs and others that facilitate the issuance of mortgage-backed securities in the secondary market. These GSEs play a powerful role in the residential mortgage industry and we have significant business relationships with them. Proposals have been enacted in the U.S. Congress and are under consideration by various regulatory authorities that would affect the manner in which these GSEs conduct their business to require them to register their stock with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to reduce or limit certain business benefits that they receive from the U.S. government and to limit the size of the mortgage loan portfolios that they may hold. Furthermore, the Obama administration recently released a report that recommended winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We do not know what impact, if any, the report would have on the future of the GSEs. In addition, the GSEs themselves have been negatively affected by recent mortgage market conditions, including conditions that have threatened their access to debt financing. Any discontinuation of, or significant reduction in, the operation of these GSEs could adversely affect our revenues and profitability. Also, any significant adverse change in the level of activity in the secondary market including declines in institutional investors’ desire to invest in our mortgage products could materially adversely affect our business.

We are exposed to consumer credit risk, which could adversely affect our profitability and financial condition.

We are subject to credit risk resulting from defaults in payment or performance by customers for our contracts and loans, as well as contracts and loans that are securitized and in which we retain a residual interest. For example, the continued decline in the domestic housing market and the increase in unemployment rates resulted in an increase in delinquency rates related to mortgage loans that ResCap and Ally Bank either hold or retain an interest in. Furthermore, a weak economic

 

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environment, high unemployment rates, and the continued deterioration of the housing market could exert pressure on our consumer automotive finance customers resulting in higher delinquencies, repossessions, and losses. There can be no assurances that our monitoring of our credit risk as it affects the value of these assets and our efforts to mitigate credit risk through our risk-based pricing, appropriate underwriting policies, and loss-mitigation strategies are, or will be, sufficient to prevent a further adverse effect on our profitability and financial condition. In addition, we have begun to increase our used car and nonprime car financing (nonprime car financing). As we grow our automotive asset portfolio in nonprime car financing loans over time, our credit risk may increase. As part of the underwriting process, we rely heavily upon information supplied by third parties. If any of this information is intentionally or negligently misrepresented and the misrepresentation is not detected before completing the transaction, the credit risk associated with the transaction may be increased.

General business and economic conditions may significantly and adversely affect our revenues, profitability, and financial condition.

Our business and earnings are sensitive to general business and economic conditions in the United States and in the markets in which we operate outside the United States. A downturn in economic conditions resulting in increased short and long term interest rates, inflation, fluctuations in the debt capital markets, unemployment rates, consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings, or a decline in the strength of national and local economies and other factors that negatively affect household incomes could decrease demand for our financing and mortgage products and increase mortgage and financing delinquency and losses on our customer and dealer financing operations. We have been negatively affected due to the recent significant stress in the residential real estate and related capital markets and, in particular, the lack of home price appreciation in many markets in which we lend. Further, a significant and sustained increase in fuel prices could lead to diminished new and used vehicle purchases and negatively affect our automotive finance business.

If the rate of inflation were to increase, or if the debt capital markets or the economies of the United States or our markets outside the United States were to weaken, or if home prices or new and used vehicle purchases experience declines, we could be significantly and adversely affected, and it could become more expensive for us to conduct our business. For example, business and economic conditions that negatively affect household incomes, housing prices, and consumer behavior related to our businesses could decrease (1) the demand for our mortgage loans and new and used vehicle financing and (2) the value of the collateral underlying our portfolio of held-for-investment mortgages and new and used vehicle loans and interests that continue to be held by us, thus further increasing the number of consumers who become delinquent or default on their loans. In addition, the rate of delinquencies, foreclosures, and losses on our loans (especially our nonprime mortgage loans) as experienced recently could be higher during more severe economic slowdowns.

Any sustained period of increased delinquencies, foreclosures, or losses could further harm our ability to sell our mortgage and new and used vehicle loans, the prices we receive for our mortgage and new and used vehicle loans, or the value of our portfolio of mortgage and new and used vehicle loans held-for-investment or interests from our securitizations, which could harm our revenues, profitability, and financial condition. Continued adverse business and economic conditions could affect demand for housing, new and used vehicles, the cost of construction, and other related factors that could harm the revenues and profitability of our business.

In addition, our business and earnings are significantly affected by the fiscal and monetary policies of the U.S. government and its agencies and similar governmental authorities in the markets in which we operate outside the United States. We are particularly affected by the policies of the FRB, which regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States. The FRB’s policies influence the new and used vehicle financing market and the size of the mortgage origination market, which significantly affects the earnings of our businesses and the earnings of our business capital activities. The FRB’s policies also influence the yield on our interest earning assets and the cost of our interest-bearing liabilities. Changes in those policies are beyond our control and difficult to predict and could adversely affect our revenues, profitability, and financial condition.

Acts or threats of terrorism and political or military actions taken by the United States or other governments could adversely affect general economic or industry conditions.

Geopolitical conditions may affect our earnings. Acts or threats of terrorism and political or military actions taken by the United States or other governments in response to terrorism, or similar activity, could adversely affect general economic or industry conditions.

 

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury (the Treasury) holds a majority of the outstanding Ally Common Stock.

At February 25, 2011, the Treasury held 981,971 shares of Common Stock which represented, pursuant to Ally’s certificate of incorporation and bylaws, approximately 73.8% of the voting power of the holders of Common Stock outstanding as of such date for most matters requiring a vote of the holders of Common Stock. In addition, as of the date hereof, the Treasury holds 118,750,000 shares of Series F-2 Preferred Stock (which are convertible into shares of Common Stock in accordance with Ally’s certificate of incorporation), with an aggregate liquidation preference of approximately $5.9 billion. Pursuant to the Amended and Restated Governance Agreement dated May 21, 2009 (see Exhibit 10.2 to Ally’s Form 8-K filed with the SEC on May 22, 2009), as of the date hereof, the Treasury also has the right to appoint six of the eleven members to the Ally Board of Directors.

Generally, matters to be voted on by the stockholders must be approved by either (1) a majority of the voting power present in person or by proxy and entitled to vote or (2) in the case of certain specified actions, the vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Common Stock including at least two such holders, in each case subject to state law and any voting rights granted to any of the holders of Ally’s preferred stock.

As a result of its ownership of Common Stock (including any shares of Common Stock that it may acquire in the future pursuant to the conversion of shares of the Series F-2 Preferred Stock or otherwise), and its right to appoint six directors to the Ally Board of Directors, the Treasury may be able, subject to the terms of Ally’s certificate of incorporation and bylaws, to significantly influence Ally’s business and strategy. Ally cannot be certain that the Treasury will not seek to influence Ally’s business in a manner that is contrary to Ally’s goals or strategies or the interests of other stakeholders. In addition, persons who are appointed directors of Ally by the Treasury may decline to take action in a manner that might be favorable to Ally but adverse to the Treasury.

The limitations on compensation imposed on us due to our participation in TARP, including the restrictions placed on our compensation by the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, may adversely affect our ability to retain and motivate our executives and employees.

Our performance is dependent on the talent and efforts of our management team and employees. As a result of our participation in TARP, the compensation of certain members of our management team and employees is subject to extensive restrictions under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, as amended by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was signed into law on February 17, 2009, as implemented by the Interim Final Rule issued by the Treasury on June 15, 2009 (the IFR). In addition, due to our level of participation in TARP, pursuant to ARRA and the IFR, the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation has the authority to further regulate our compensation arrangements with certain of our executives and employees. In addition, we may become subject to further restrictions under any other future legislation or regulation limiting executive compensation. Many of the restrictions are not limited to our senior executives and affect other employees whose contributions to revenue and performance may be significant. These limitations may leave us unable to create a compensation structure that permits us to retain and motivate certain of our executives and employees or to attract new executives or employees, especially if we are competing against institutions that are not subject to the same restrictions. Any such inability could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our borrowing costs and access to the unsecured debt capital markets depend significantly on our credit ratings.

The cost and availability of unsecured financing are materially affected by our short- and long-term credit ratings. Each of Standard & Poor’s Rating Services; Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.; Fitch, Inc.; and Dominion Bond Rating Service rates our debt. Our current ratings as assigned by each of the respective rating agencies are below investment grade, which negatively impacts our access to liquidity and increases our borrowing costs in the unsecured market. Ratings reflect the rating agencies’ opinions of our financial strength, operating performance, strategic position, and ability to meet our obligations. Future downgrades of our credit ratings would increase borrowing costs and further constrain our access to the unsecured debt markets and, as a result, would negatively affect our business. In addition, downgrades of our credit ratings could increase the possibility of additional terms and conditions being added to any new or replacement financing arrangements as well as impact elements of certain existing secured borrowing arrangements.

Agency ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security and may be revised or withdrawn at any time by the issuing organization. Each agency’s rating should be evaluated independently of any other agency’s rating.

 

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Our profitability and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected if the residual value of off-lease vehicles decrease in the future.

Our expectation of the residual value of a vehicle subject to an automotive lease contract is a critical element used to determine the amount of the lease payments under the contract at the time the customer enters into it. As a result, to the extent the actual residual value of the vehicle, as reflected in the sales proceeds received upon remarketing at lease termination, is less than the expected residual value for the vehicle at lease inception, we incur additional depreciation expense and/or a loss on the lease transaction. General economic conditions, the supply of off lease and other vehicles to be sold, new vehicle market prices, perceived vehicle quality, overall price and volatility of gasoline or diesel fuel, among other factors, heavily influence used vehicle prices and thus the actual residual value of off lease vehicles. Consumer confidence levels and the strength of auto manufacturers and dealers can also influence the used vehicle market. For example, during 2008, sharp declines in demand and used vehicle sale prices adversely affected Ally’s remarketing proceeds and financial results.

Vehicle brand images, consumer preference, and vehicle manufacturer marketing programs that influence new and used vehicle markets also influence lease residual values. In addition, our ability to efficiently process and effectively market off lease vehicles affects the disposal costs and proceeds realized from the vehicle sales. While manufacturers, at times, may provide support for lease residual values including through residual support programs, this support does not in all cases entitle us to full reimbursement for the difference between the remarketing sales proceeds for off lease vehicles and the residual value specified in the lease contract. Differences between the actual residual values realized on leased vehicles and our expectations of such values at contract inception could have a negative impact on our profitability and financial condition.

Current conditions in the residential mortgage market and housing markets may continue to adversely affect Ally’s mortgage business.

The residential mortgage market in the United States and other international markets in which our Mortgage operations conduct, or previously conducted, business have experienced a variety of difficulties and changed economic conditions that adversely affected our mortgage business’ results of operations and financial condition. Delinquencies and losses with respect to our Legacy Portfolio and Other segment’s nonprime mortgage loans increased significantly. Housing prices in many parts of the United States, the United Kingdom, and other international markets also declined or stopped appreciating after extended periods of significant appreciation. In addition, the liquidity provided to the mortgage sector had been significantly reduced. This liquidity reduction combined with our decision to reduce our mortgage business’ exposure to the nonprime mortgage market caused its nonprime mortgage production to decline. Similar trends have emerged beyond the nonprime sector, especially at the lower end of the prime credit quality scale, and have had a similar effect on our mortgage business’ related liquidity needs and businesses. These trends have resulted in significant write-downs to our Legacy Portfolio and Other’s held-for-sale mortgage loans and trading securities portfolios and additions to its allowance for loan losses for its held-for-investment mortgage loans and warehouse-lending receivables portfolios. A continuation of these conditions may continue to adversely affect our mortgage business’ financial condition and results of operations.

Moreover, the continued deterioration of the U.S. housing market and decline in home prices since 2008 in many U.S. markets, which may continue for the near term, could result in increased delinquencies or defaults on the mortgage assets ResCap owns and services as well as those mortgage assets owned by Ally Bank. Further, loans that our Mortgage operations historically made based on limited credit or income documentation also increase the likelihood of future increases in delinquencies or defaults on mortgage loans. An increase in delinquencies or defaults will result in a higher level of credit losses and credit-related expenses and increased liquidity requirements to fund servicing advances, all of which in turn will reduce revenues and profits of our mortgage business. Higher credit losses and credit-related expenses also could adversely affect our financial condition.

Our lending volume is generally related to the rate of growth in U.S. residential mortgage debt outstanding and the size of the U.S. residential mortgage market. Recently, the rate of growth in total U.S. residential mortgage debt outstanding has slowed sharply in response to the reduced activity in the housing market and national declines in home prices. In addition, most of our mortgage business is currently conducted through the correspondent channel, which relies heavily on the mortgage refinancing business. The volume of mortgage refinancing experienced a significant increase in 2009 and 2010 due to interest rate decreases, but we expect it will experience a significant decrease in 2011 as interest rates increase. A decline in the rate of growth in mortgage debt outstanding reduces the number of mortgage loans available for us to purchase or securitize, which in turn could lead to a reduction in our revenue, profits, and business prospects.

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Our earnings may decrease because of increases or decreases in interest rates.

Changes in interest rates could have an adverse impact on our business. For example:

 

   

rising interest rates will increase our cost of funds;

 

   

rising interest rates may reduce our consumer automotive financing volume by influencing customers to pay cash for, as opposed to financing, vehicle purchases or not to buy new vehicles;

 

   

rising interest rates may negatively impact our ability to remarket off lease vehicles;

 

   

rising interest rates generally reduce our residential mortgage loan production as borrowers become less likely to refinance and the costs associated with acquiring a new home become more expensive; and

 

   

rising interest rates will generally reduce the value of mortgage and automotive financing loans and contracts and retained interests and fixed income securities held in our investment portfolio.

We are also subject to risks from decreasing interest rates. For example, a significant decrease in interest rates could increase the rate at which mortgages are prepaid, which could require us to write down the value of our retained interests and MSRs. Moreover, if prepayments are greater than expected, the cash we receive over the life of our held-for-investment mortgage loans and our retained interests would be reduced. Higher-than-expected prepayments could also reduce the value of our MSRs and, to the extent the borrower does not refinance with us, the size of our servicing portfolio. Therefore, any such changes in interest rates could harm our revenues, profitability, and financial condition.

Our hedging strategies may not be successful in mitigating our risks associated with changes in interest rates and could affect our profitability and financial condition as could our failure to comply with hedge accounting principles and interpretations.

We employ various economic hedging strategies to mitigate the interest rate and prepayment risk inherent in many of our assets and liabilities. Our hedging strategies rely on assumptions and projections regarding our assets, liabilities, and general market factors. If these assumptions and projections prove to be incorrect or our hedges do not adequately mitigate the impact of changes in interest rates or prepayment speeds, we may experience volatility in our earnings that could adversely affect our profitability and financial condition. In addition, we may not be able to find market participants that are willing to act as our hedging counterparties, which could have an adverse effect on the success of our hedging strategies.

In addition, hedge accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) requires the application of significant subjective judgments to a body of accounting concepts that is complex and for which the interpretations have continued to evolve within the accounting profession and among the standard-setting bodies.

A failure of or interruption in, as well as, security risks of the communications and information systems on which we rely to conduct our business could adversely affect our revenues and profitability.

We rely heavily upon communications and information systems to conduct our business. Any failure or interruption of our information systems or the third-party information systems on which we rely as a result of inadequate or failed processes or systems, human errors, or external events could cause underwriting or other delays and could result in fewer applications being received, slower processing of applications, and reduced efficiency in servicing. In addition, our communication and information systems may present security risks, and could be susceptible to hacking or identity theft. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We use estimates and assumptions in determining the fair value of certain of our assets in determining lease residual values and in determining our reserves for insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses. If our estimates or assumptions prove to be incorrect, our cash flow, profitability, financial condition, and business prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

We use estimates and various assumptions in determining the fair value of many of our assets, including certain held-for-investment and held-for-sale loans for which we elected fair value accounting, retained interests from securitizations of loans and contracts, MSRs, and other investments, which do not have an established market value or are not publicly traded. We

 

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also use estimates and assumptions in determining the residual values of leased vehicles. In addition, we use estimates and assumptions in determining our reserves for insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses which represent the accumulation of estimates for both reported losses and those incurred, but not reported, including claims adjustment expenses relating to direct insurance and assumed reinsurance agreements. For further discussion related to estimates and assumptions, refer to the Critical Accounting Estimates section of the Management Discussion & Analysis. It is difficult to determine the accuracy of our estimates and assumptions, and our actual experience may differ materially from these estimates and assumptions. A material difference between our estimates and assumptions and our actual experience may adversely affect our cash flow, profitability, financial condition, and business prospects.

Our business outside the United States exposes us to additional risks that may cause our revenues and profitability to decline.

We conduct a significant portion of our business outside the United States exposing us to risks such as the following:

 

   

multiple foreign regulatory requirements that are subject to change;

 

   

differing local product preferences and product requirements;

 

   

fluctuations in foreign interest rates;

 

   

difficulty in establishing, staffing, and managing foreign operations;

 

   

differing labor regulations;

 

   

consequences from changes in tax laws;

 

   

restrictions on our ability to repatriate profits or transfer cash into or out of foreign countries; and

 

   

political and economic instability, natural calamities, war and terrorism.

The effects of these risks may, individually or in the aggregate, adversely affect our revenues and profitability.

Our business could be adversely affected by changes in foreign-currency exchange rates.

We are exposed to risks related to the effects of changes in foreign-currency exchange rates. Changes in currency exchange rates can have a significant impact on our earnings from international operations as a result of foreign-currency-translation adjustments. While we carefully monitor and attempt to manage our exposure to fluctuation in currency exchange rates through foreign-currency hedging activities, these types of changes could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Fluctuations in valuation of investment securities or significant fluctuations in investment market prices could negatively affect revenues.

Investment market prices in general are subject to fluctuation. Consequently, the amount realized in the subsequent sale of an investment may significantly differ from the reported market value that could negatively affect our revenues. Additionally, negative fluctuations in the value of available for sale investment securities could result in unrealized losses recorded in equity. Fluctuation in the market price of a security may result from perceived changes in the underlying economic characteristics of the investee, the relative price of alternative investments, national and international events, and general market conditions.

Significant indemnification payments or contract, lease, or loan repurchase activity of retail contracts or leases or mortgage loans could harm our profitability and financial condition.

We have repurchase obligations in our capacity as servicer in securitizations and whole-loan sales. If a servicer breaches a representation, warranty, or servicing covenant with respect to an automotive receivable or mortgage loan, the servicer may be required by the servicing provisions to repurchase that asset from the purchaser or otherwise compensate one or more classes of investors for losses caused by the breach. If the frequency at which repurchases of assets or other payments occurs increases substantially from its present rate, the result could be a material adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations.

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

In connection with its servicing of securitized mortgage loans, ResCap is subject to contractual caps on the percentage of mortgage loans it is permitted to modify in any securitized pool. The financial crisis has resulted in dramatic increases in the volume of delinquent mortgage loans over the past three years. In an effort to achieve the best net present value recovery for the securitization trust, ResCap increased the volume of modifications of distressed mortgage loans to assist homeowners and avoid liquidating properties in a collapsing and opaque housing market. In certain securitization transactions, ResCap has exceeded the applicable contractual modification cap. The securitization documents provide that the contractual caps can be raised or eliminated with the concurrence of each rating agency rating the transaction. For certain transactions with respect to which loan modifications have exceeded the contractual caps, the rating agencies have concurred in raising or eliminating the caps, but they have not consented in connection with other such transactions. ResCap will continue to seek their concurrence in connection with other transactions as it deems appropriate and will suspend modifications in excess of applicable caps pending receipt of such consent or investor approval to amend the servicing contracts. An investor in a specific mortgage security class might claim that modifications in excess of the applicable cap amounted to a material failure of ResCap to perform its servicing obligations and that the investor was damaged as a result. Such claims, if successful, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations.

A loss of contractual servicing rights could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations.

We are the servicer for all of the receivables we have acquired or originated and transferred to other parties in securitizations and whole-loan sales of automotive receivables. Our mortgage subsidiaries service the mortgage loans we have securitized, and we service the majority of the mortgage loans we have sold in whole-loan sales. In each case, we are paid a fee for our services, which fees in the aggregate constitute a substantial revenue stream for us. In each case, we are subject to the risk of termination under the circumstances specified in the applicable servicing provisions.

In most securitizations and whole-loan sales, the owner of the receivables or mortgage loans will be entitled to declare a servicer default and terminate the servicer upon the occurrence of specified events. These events typically include a bankruptcy of the servicer, a material failure by the servicer to perform its obligations, and a failure by the servicer to turn over funds on the required basis. The termination of these servicing rights, were it to occur, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations and those of our mortgage subsidiaries.

Changes in accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) could adversely affect our reported revenues, profitability, and financial condition.

Our financial statements are subject to the application of GAAP, which are periodically revised and/or expanded. The application of accounting principles is also subject to varying interpretations over time. Accordingly, we are required to adopt new or revised accounting standards or comply with revised interpretations that are issued from time to time by various parties, including accounting standard setters and those who interpret the standards, such as the FASB and the SEC, banking regulators, and our independent registered public accounting firm. Those changes could adversely affect our reported revenues, profitability, or financial condition.

Recently, the FASB has proposed new financial accounting standards, and has many active projects underway, that could materially affect our reported revenues, profitability, or financial condition. These proposed standards or projects include the potential for significant changes in the accounting for financial instruments (including loans, deposits, and debt) and the accounting for leases, among others. It is possible that any changes, if enacted, could adversely affect our reported revenues, profitability, or financial condition.

The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect us.

Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, counterparty, or other relationships. We have exposure to different counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, and other institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default or our counterparty.

 

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Our inability to maintain relationships with dealers could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our business depends on the continuation of our relationships with our customers, particularly the automotive dealers with whom we do business. If we are not able to maintain existing relationships with key automotive dealers or if we are not able to develop new relationships for any reason, including if we are not able to provide services on a timely basis or offer products that meet the needs of the dealers, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Adverse economic conditions or changes in laws in states in which we have customer concentrations may negative affect our operating results and financial condition.

We are exposed to consumer loan portfolio concentration in California and Texas and consumer mortgage loan concentration in California, Florida, and Michigan. Factors adversely affecting the economies and applicable laws in these states could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial position.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

 

Item 2. Properties

Our principal corporate offices are located in Detroit, Michigan; New York, New York; and Charlotte, North Carolina. In Detroit, we lease approximately 247,000 square feet from GM pursuant to a lease agreement expiring in November 2016. In New York, we lease approximately 24,000 square feet of office space under a lease that expires in July 2015 and approximately 18,000 square feet of office space under a lease that expires in July 2011. In Charlotte, we lease approximately 133,000 square feet of office space under a lease expiring in December 2015.

The primary offices for our Global Automotive Services operations are located in Detroit, Michigan, and Southfield, Michigan. The primary office for our North American Automotive Finance operations is located in Detroit, Michigan, and is included in the totals referenced above. Our International Automotive Finance operations leased space in 27 countries totaling approximately 490,000 square feet. The largest location is in United Kingdom with office space under lease of approximately 143,000 square feet. The primary office for our U.S. Insurance operations is located in Southfield, Michigan, where we lease approximately 91,000 square feet of office space under leases expiring in April 2011. Our Insurance operations also has leased offices in Mexico.

The primary offices for our Mortgage operations are located in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. In Fort Washington, we lease approximately 450,000 square feet of office space pursuant to a lease that expires in November 2019. In Minneapolis, we lease approximately 84,000 square feet of office space expiring in March 2014. Our Mortgage operations also has significant leased offices in Texas and California.

In addition to the properties described above, we lease additional space throughout the United States and in the 37 countries in which we have operations, including Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We believe our facilities are adequate for us to conduct our present business activities.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

We are subject to potential liability under various governmental proceedings, claims, and legal actions that are pending or otherwise asserted against us. We are named as defendants in a number of legal actions, and we are occasionally involved in governmental proceedings arising in connection with our respective businesses. Some of the pending actions purport to be class actions. We establish reserves for legal claims when payments associated with the claims become probable and the costs can be reasonably estimated. The actual costs of resolving legal claims may be higher or lower than any amounts reserved for the claims. On the basis of information currently available, advice of counsel, available insurance coverage, and established reserves, it is the opinion of management that the eventual outcome of the actions against us will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows. However, in the event of unexpected future developments, it is possible that the ultimate resolution of legal matters, if unfavorable, may be material to our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows. Certain of these existing actions include claims related to various mortgage-backed securities offerings, which are described in more detail below.

 

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Mortgage-backed Securities Litigation

There are nine cases relating to various private-label mortgage-backed securities (MBS) offerings that are currently pending. Plaintiffs in these cases include Cambridge Place Investment Management Inc. (two cases pending in Suffolk County Superior Court, Massachusetts, filed on July 9, 2010, and February 11, 2011, respectively); The Charles Schwab Corporation (case pending in San Francisco County Superior Court, California, filed on August 2, 2010); Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (case pending in Cook County Circuit Court, Illinois, filed on October 15, 2010); Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis (case filed in Marion County Superior Court, Indiana, on October 15, 2010, and removed to the Southern District of Indiana); Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins. Co. (case pending in federal court in the District of Massachusetts, filed on February 9, 2011); Allstate Insurance Co. (served February 14, 2011, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, District Court); New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund, et al. (a putative class action, filed on September 22, 2008, in which certification has been denied, pending in federal court in the Southern District of New York); and the West Virginia Investment Management Board (case pending in the Kanawha County Circuit Court, West Virginia, filed on March 4, 2010). Each of the above cases includes as defendants certain of our mortgage subsidiaries, and the New Jersey Carpenters and Massachusetts Mutual cases also include as defendants certain current and former employees. The plaintiffs in all cases have alleged that the various defendant subsidiaries made misstatements and omissions in registration statements, prospectuses, prospectus supplements, and other documents related to MBS offerings. The alleged misstatements and omissions typically concern underwriting standards. Plaintiffs claim that such misstatements and omissions constitute violations of state and/or federal securities law and common law including negligent misrepresentation and fraud. Plaintiffs seek monetary damages and rescission.

There are two additional cases (filed on December 4, 2008, and April 1, 2010) pending in the New York County Supreme Court where MBIA Insurance Corp. (MBIA) has alleged that two of our mortgage subsidiaries breached their contractual representations and warranties relating to the characteristics of the mortgage loans contained in certain insured MBS offerings. MBIA further alleges that the defendant subsidiaries failed to follow certain remedy procedures set forth in the contracts and improperly serviced the mortgage loans. Along with claims for breach of contract, MBIA also alleges fraud.

All of the matters described above are at various procedural stages of litigation.

 

Item 4. (Removed and Reserved)

 

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Part II

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Common Stock

We currently have a total of 2,021,384 shares of common stock authorized for issuance, and at February 25, 2011, a total of 1,330,970 shares of common stock were issued and outstanding. Further, we have reserved 690,272 of the remaining authorized but unissued shares of common stock for issuance in connection with any future conversion of Ally’s Fixed Rate Cumulative Mandatorily Convertible Preferred Stock, Series F-2 (Series F-2 Preferred Stock). Our common stock is not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and there is no established trading market for the shares. At February 25, 2011, there were 190 holders of common stock reflected on our stock register.

Subject to certain exceptions, for so long as any shares of the Series F-2 Preferred Stock are outstanding and owned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the Treasury), Ally and its subsidiaries are generally prohibited from paying certain dividends or distributions on, or redeeming, repurchasing or acquiring, any common stock without consent of the Treasury. Ally is also generally prohibited from making any dividends or distributions on, or redeeming, repurchasing, or acquiring, its common stock unless all accrued and unpaid dividends for all past dividend periods on the Series F-2 Preferred Stock are fully paid. In addition, pursuant to the terms of Ally’s Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series G, Ally is not permitted to make any Restricted Payments on or prior to January 1, 2014, and may only make Restricted Payments after January 1, 2014, if certain conditions are satisfied. For this purpose, Restricted Payments includes dividends or distribution of assets on any share of common stock and any redemption, purchase, or other acquisition of any shares of common stock, subject to certain exceptions.

Preferred Stock

For a discussion of preferred stock currently outstanding, refer to Note 20 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities

Ally did not have any unregistered sales of its equity securities in fiscal year 2010, except as previously disclosed on Form 8-K.

 

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Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The selected historical financial information set forth below should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, our Consolidated Financial Statements, and the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. The historical financial information presented may not be indicative or our future performance.

 

At and for the year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010     2009     2008     2007     2006  

Financial statement data

          

Total financing revenue and other interest income

   $ 11,447      $ 13,100      $ 18,054      $ 21,761      $ 24,100   

Interest expense

     6,836        7,274        10,441        13,553        14,638   

Depreciation expense on operating lease assets

     2,030        3,748        5,478        4,551        5,055   

Impairment of investment in operating leases

                   1,218                 
   

Net financing revenue

     2,581        2,078        917        3,657        4,407   

Total other revenue (a)

     5,321        4,417        15,271        6,161        7,860   
   

Total net revenue

     7,902        6,495        16,188        9,818        12,267   

Provision for loan losses

     442        5,604        3,102        3,037        1,948   

Total other noninterest expense

     6,281        7,850        8,349        8,203        8,457   
   

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income tax expense (benefit)

     1,179        (6,959     4,737        (1,422     1,862   

Income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations (b)

     153        74        (136     496        22   
   

Net income (loss) from continuing operations

     1,026        (7,033     4,873        (1,918     1,840   
   

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax

     49        (3,265     (3,005     (414     285   
   

Net income (loss)

   $ 1,075      $ (10,298   $ 1,868      $ (2,332   $ 2,125   
   

Total assets

   $ 172,008      $ 172,306      $ 189,476      $ 248,939      $ 291,971   

Long-term debt

   $ 86,612      $ 88,021      $ 115,935      $ 159,342      $ 193,387   

Total equity

   $ 20,489      $ 20,839      $ 21,854      $ 15,565      $ 14,369   

Financial ratios (c)

          

Return on assets

          

Net income (loss) from continuing operations

     0.58     (3.95 )%      2.57     (0.77 )%      0.63

Net income (loss)

     0.61     (5.79 )%      0.99     (0.94 )%      0.73

Return on equity

          

Net income (loss) from continuing operations

     4.95     (29.00 )%      22.30     (12.32 )%      12.81

Net income (loss)

     5.19     (42.46 )%      8.55     (14.98 )%      14.79

Equity to assets

     11.72     13.63     11.53     6.25     4.92

Net interest spread

     1.23     0.65     (d     (d     (d

Net interest spread excluding original issue discount

     2.29     1.68     (d     (d     (d

Regulatory capital ratios

          

Tier 1 capital

     15.00     14.15     (d     (d     (d

Total risk-based capital

     16.36     15.55     (d     (d     (d

Tier 1 leverage

     13.05     12.70     (d     (d     (d

Tier 1 common

     8.57     4.85     (d     (d     (d
   

 

(a) 2008 amount includes $12.6 billion of gains on the extinguishment of debt, primarily related to private exchange and cash tender offers settled during the fourth quarter. 2006 amount includes realized capital gains of $1.1 billion primarily related to the rebalancing of our investment portfolio at our Insurance operations.
(b) Effective June 30, 2009, we converted from a limited liability company into a corporation and, as a result, became subject to corporate U.S. federal, state, and local taxes beginning in the third quarter of 2009. Our conversion to a corporation resulted in a change in tax status and a net deferred tax liability of $1.2 billion was established through income tax expense. Effective November 28, 2006, we, along with certain of our U.S. subsidiaries, converted to limited liability companies (LLCs) and became pass-through entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Our conversion to an LLC resulted in a change in tax status and the elimination of a $791 million net deferred tax liability through income tax expense. Refer to Note 24 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding our changes in tax status.
(c) The 2010 and 2009 ratios were computed based on average assets and average equity using a combination of monthly and daily average methodologies. The 2008, 2007, and 2006 ratios have been computed based on period-end total assets and period-end total equity at December 31, 2008, 2007, and 2006.
(d) Not applicable at December 31, 2008, 2007, and 2006, as we did not become a bank holding company until December 24, 2008.

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation (MD&A), as well as other portions of this Form 10-K, may contain certain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. The words “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “initiative,” “objective,” “plan,” “goal,” “project,” “outlook,” “priorities,” “target,” “intend,” “evaluate,” “pursue,” “seek,” “may,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” or the negatives of any of these words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All statements herein, other than statements of historical fact, including without limitation statements about future events and financial performance, are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement and should consider all uncertainties and risks discussed in this report, including those under Item 1A, Risk Factors, as well as those provided in any subsequent SEC filings. Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date they are made, and Ally undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances that arise after the date the forward-looking statement are made.

Overview

Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC Inc.) is a leading, independent, globally diversified, financial services firm with $172 billion in assets. Founded in 1919, we are a leading automotive financial services company with over 90 years experience providing a broad array of financial products and services to automotive dealers and their customers. We are also one of the largest residential mortgage companies in the United States. We became a bank holding company on December 24, 2008, under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (the BHC Act). Our banking subsidiary, Ally Bank, is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc. and a leading franchise in the growing direct (online and telephonic) banking market, with $33.9 billion of deposits at December 31, 2010. Ally Bank’s assets and operating results are divided between our Global Automotive Services and Mortgage operations based on its underlying business activities.

Our Business

Global Automotive Services

Our Global Automotive Services operations offer a wide range of financial services and insurance products to over 18,000 automotive dealers and their retail customers. We have deep dealer relationships that have been built over our 90-year history and our dealer-focused business model makes us a preferred automotive finance company for many automotive dealers. Our broad set of product offerings and customer-focused marketing programs differentiate Ally in the marketplace and help drive higher product penetration in our dealer relationships. Our ability to generate attractive automotive assets is driven by our global platform and scale, strong relationships with automotive dealers, a full suite of dealer financial products, automotive loan-servicing capabilities, dealer-based incentive programs, and superior customer service.

Our automotive financial services include providing retail installment sales contracts, loans, and leases, offering term loans to dealers, financing dealer floorplans and other lines of credit to dealers, fleet leasing, and vehicle remarketing services. We also offer vehicle service contracts and commercial insurance primarily covering dealers’ wholesale vehicle inventories in the United States and internationally. We are a leading provider of automobile vehicle service contracts with mechanical breakdown and maintenance coverages.

We have a longstanding relationship with GM and have developed strong relationships directly with GM-franchised dealers as well as gained extensive operating experience with GM-franchised dealers relative to other automotive finance companies. Since GM sold a majority interest in us in 2006, we have transformed ourselves to a market-driven independent automotive finance company. We continue to be a preferred financing provider to GM on incentivized retail loans. In May 2009, we became the preferred financing provider to Chrysler of incentivized retail loans and we have developed full product relationships, including wholesale financing for many of Chrysler’s franchised dealers. We have further diversified our customer base by establishing agreements to become preferred financing providers with other manufacturers including Fiat (for North America), Spyker Cars N.V. (Saab), and Thor Industries (recreational vehicles) in 2010. Currently, a significant portion of our business is originated through GM- and Chrysler-franchised dealers and their customers.

As a result of the recessionary environment and disruption in the capital markets beginning in late 2008, we experienced significantly lower new asset originations in late 2008 and throughout 2009. Additionally, we recognized a $1.2 billion

 

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impairment on our automotive operating lease portfolio in 2008 as a result of significant declines in used vehicle prices and separately realized higher loan loss provisions on our nonprime automotive loan portfolio. As a result, we significantly curtailed our leasing and nonprime automotive loan originations in late 2008, which resulted in a reduction in the size of these existing portfolios during 2009 and 2010.

During 2009 and much of 2010 our primary emphasis has been on originating loans of higher credit tier borrowers. For this reason, our current operating results continue to reflect higher credit quality, lower yielding loans with lower credit loss experience. Ally however seeks to be a meaningful lender to a wide spectrum of borrowers. In 2010 we enhanced our risk management practices and efforts on risk-based pricing. We intend to gradually increase volumes in lower credit tiers in 2011. We have also selectively re-entered the leasing market with a more targeted product approach since late 2009. Both of these business opportunities are expected to gradually benefit net interest margin through time by earning higher yields on our assets.

We would also expect net financing revenue to increase and gains on the sale of automotive loans to decrease as we fund a greater proportion of our business through Ally Bank and reduce the amount of whole-loan sales. Additionally, we expect operating lease remarketing gains to diminish as a result of declines in the size of the operating lease portfolio and changes in used vehicle prices. We plan to continue to increase the proportion of our non-GM and Chrysler business, as we focus on maintaining and growing our dealer-customer base through our full suite of products, our dealer relationships, the scale of our platform, and our dealer-based incentive programs. We also expect a greater amount of non-GM and Chrysler consumer applications from dealers as we have recently joined a new credit application network, DealerTrack, which provides access to a more expansive universe of dealers.

Our international automotive lending operations currently originates loans in 15 countries with a focus on operations in five core markets: Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and China through our joint venture, GMAC-SAIC Automotive Finance Company Limited (GMAC-SAIC).

Our Insurance operations offer both consumer and commercial insurance products sold primarily through the automotive dealer channel. As part of our focus on offering dealers a broad range of products, we provide vehicle extended service contracts and mechanical breakdown coverages and underwrite selected commercial insurance coverages in the United States and internationally, primarily covering dealers’ wholesale vehicle inventory as well as personal automobile insurance in certain countries outside of the United States. In 2010, we sold our U.S. personal automotive insurance and certain international insurance operations in order to focus on products that support automotive dealers.

Mortgage

We report our Mortgage operations as two distinct segments: (1) Origination and Servicing operations and (2) Legacy Portfolio and Other operations.

Our Origination and Servicing operations is one of the leading originators of conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans in the United States. We also originate and purchase high-quality government-insured residential mortgage loans in Canada. We are one of the largest residential mortgage loan servicers in the United States, and we provide collateralized lines of credit to other mortgage originators, which we refer to as warehouse lending. We finance our mortgage loan originations primarily in Ally Bank in the United States and in ResMor Trust in Canada. We sell the conforming mortgages we originate or purchase in sales that take the form of securitizations guaranteed by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mae), and we sell government-insured mortgage loans we originate or purchase in securitizations guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) in the United States and sell the insured mortgages we originate in Canada as National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA-MBS) issued under the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s NHA-MBS program or through whole-loan sales. We also selectively originate prime jumbo mortgage loans in the United States.

Our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations primarily consist of loans originated prior to January 1, 2009, and includes noncore business activities including discontinued operations, portfolios in runoff, and cash held in the ResCap legal entity. These activities, all of which we have discontinued, include, among other things: lending to real estate developers and homebuilders in the United States and the United Kingdom; purchasing, selling and securitizing nonconforming residential

 

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mortgage loans (with the exception of U.S. prime jumbo mortgage loans) in both the United States and internationally; and certain conforming origination channels closed in 2008 and our mortgage reinsurance business.

We recently re-aligned our business model to focus on our Origination and Servicing operations in response to market developments and based on our strategic review of the mortgage business during 2009 and 2010. We have substantially eliminated nonconforming U.S. and international loan production (with the exception of U.S. prime jumbo mortgage loans) and have focused primarily on correspondent, direct, and warehouse-lending channels as opposed to high cost retail branch offices. Our origination platforms deliver products that have liquid market distribution and sales outlets and are structured to respond quickly as market conditions change. We have also consolidated our servicing operations to streamline our costs and align ourselves to capture future opportunities as mortgage servicing markets reform.

Additionally, we have implemented several strategic initiatives to reduce the risk related to our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations. These actions have included, but are not limited to, restructuring of ResCap debt in 2008, moving mortgage loans held-for-investment to held-for sale in 2009 while recording appropriate market value adjustments, the sale of legacy business platforms including our international operations in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, and other targeted asset dispositions including domestic and international mortgage loans and commercial finance receivables and loans. The consolidated assets of our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations have decreased to $12.3 billion at December 31, 2010, from $32.9 billion at December 31, 2008, due to these actions.

Mortgage loan origination volume is driven by the volume of home sales and prevailing interest rates. Our mortgage origination volume in 2010 was primarily driven by refinancings that were influenced by historically low interest rates. Refinancing originations are expected to decline in 2011 as a result of projected rising interest rates. Our focus in 2011 and future periods will be on sustaining our position as a leading originator and servicer of conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans with limited expansion of our balance sheet while using agency securitizations to provide liquidity and continuing to align our origination and servicing platforms to take advantage of mortgage market reforms as they occur.

Corporate and Other

Corporate and Other includes our Commercial Finance Group, certain equity investments, the amortization of the discount associated with new debt issuances and bond exchanges, most notably from the December 2008 bond exchange, as well as the residual impacts of our corporate funds-transfer-pricing (FTP) and treasury asset liability management (ALM) activities.

Loss from continuing operations before income tax expense for Corporate and Other was $2.6 billion and $2.5 billion for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. These losses were primarily driven by net financing losses of $2.1 billion and $2.5 billion for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The net financing losses at Corporate and Other are largely driven by the amortization of original issue discount, primarily related to our 2008 bond exchange, and the net financing loss that results from our FTP methodology.

The net financing revenue of our Global Automotive Services and Mortgage operations includes the results of a FTP process that insulates these operations from interest rate volatility by matching assets and liabilities with similar interest rate sensitivity and maturity characteristics. The FTP process assigns charge rates to the assets and credit rates to the liabilities within our Global Automotive Services and Mortgage operations, respectively, based on anticipated maturity and a benchmark index plus an assumed credit spread. The assumed credit spread represents the cost of funds for each asset class based on a blend of funding channels available to the enterprise, including unsecured and secured capital markets, private funding facilities, and deposits. In addition, a risk-based methodology, which incorporates each operations credit, market, and operational risk components is used to allocate equity to these operations.

The negative residual impact of our FTP methodology that is realized in Corporate and Other primarily represents the cost of certain funding and liquidity management activities not allocated through our FTP methodology. Most notably, the net interest expense of maintaining our liquidity and investment portfolios, the value of which was approximately $20.5 billion at December 31, 2010, is maintained in Corporate and Other and not allocated to the businesses through our FTP methodology. In addition, other unassigned funding costs, including the results of our ALM activities, are also not allocated to the businesses.

 

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The following table summarizes the components of net financing losses for Corporate and Other reflecting bond exchange and conversion to a bank holding company in December 2008.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010     2009  

Original issue discount amortization (a)

   $ (1,204   $ (1,143

Net impact of the FTP methodology

    

Cost of carry on the cash and investment portfolio

     (504     (543

ALM / FTP cost of funds mismatch

     (366     (600

Other unallocated interest costs

     (130     (294
   

Total net impact of the FTP methodology

     (1,000     (1,437

Commercial Finance Group net financing revenue and other

     105        119   
   

Total net financing losses for Corporate and Other

   $ (2,099   $ (2,461
   

 

(a) The original issue discount associated with our 2008 bond exchange and cash tender offers in 2008 was $1,158 million and $1,108 million during the year ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

The following table presents the amortization of the original issue discount.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010      2009  

Original issue discount

     

Outstanding balance

   $ 3,169       $ 4,373   

Total amortization (a)

     1,204         1,143   

2008 bond exchange amortization (b)

     1,158         1,108   
   

 

(a) Amortization is included as interest on long-term debt on the Consolidated Statement of Income.
(b) 2008 bond exchange amortization is included in total amortization.

The amortization of original issue discount will decline from what was recognized during 2010 and 2009. The following table presents the scheduled amortization of the original issue discount.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2011      2012      2013      2014      2015      2016 and
thereafter (a)
     Total  

Original issue discount

                    

Outstanding balance

   $ 2,194       $ 1,844       $ 1,581       $ 1,390       $ 1,333       $      

Total amortization (b)

     975         350         263         191         57         1,333       $ 3,169   

2008 bond exchange amortization (c)

     937         320         241         168         43         1,177         2,886   
   

 

(a) The maximum annual scheduled amortization for any individual year is $157 million in 2030 of which $151 million is related to 2008 bond exchange amortization.
(b) The amortization is included as interest on long-term debt on the Consolidated Statement of Income.
(c) 2008 bond exchange amortization is included in total amortization.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank, our direct banking platform, provides our Automotive Finance and Mortgage operations with a stable, low-cost funding source and facilitates prudent asset growth. Our focus is on building a stable deposit base driven by our compelling brand and strong value proposition. Ally Bank raises deposits directly from customers through a direct banking channel via the internet and by telephone. We have become a leader in direct banking with our recognizable brand, accessible 24/7 customer service, and competitively priced products.

Ally Bank offers a full spectrum of deposit product offerings including certificates of deposits, savings accounts, money market accounts, and an online checking product. In addition, brokered deposits are obtained through third-party intermediaries. The deposit base at Ally Bank increased $14.7 billion to $33.9 billion at December 31, 2010, from $19.2 billion at December 31, 2008. The growth in deposits is primarily attributable to our retail deposits while our brokered deposits have remained at historical levels. Strong retention rates, reflecting the strength of the franchise, have materially contributed to our growth in retail deposits.

 

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Funding and Liquidity

Our funding strategy largely focuses on the development of diversified funding sources across a global investor base to meet all of our liquidity needs throughout different market cycles, including periods of financial distress. Prior to becoming a bank holding company, our funding largely came from the following sources.

 

   

Public unsecured debt capital markets;

 

   

Asset-backed securitizations, both public and private;

 

   

Asset sales;

 

   

Committed and uncommitted credit facilities; and

 

   

Brokered and retail deposits

The diversity of our funding sources enhances funding flexibility, limits dependence on any one source and results in a more cost-effective strategy over the long term. Throughout 2008 and 2009, the global credit markets experienced extraordinary levels of volatility and stress. As a result, access by market participants, including Ally, to the capital markets was significantly constrained and borrowing costs increased as a result. In response, numerous government programs were established aimed at improving the liquidity position of U.S. financial services firms. After converting to a bank holding company in late 2008, we participated in several of the programs, including Temporary Liquidity Guaranty Program (TLGP), Term Auction Facility (TAF), and Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). Our diversification strategy and participation in these programs helped us to maintain sufficient liquidity during this period of financial distress to meet all maturing unsecured debt obligations and to continue our lending and operating activities.

During 2009, as part of our overall transformation from an independent financial services company to a bank holding company, we began to take actions to further diversify and develop more stable funding sources and, in particular, embark on initiatives to grow our consumer deposit-taking capabilities. In addition, we began distinguishing our liquidity management strategies between bank funding and nonbank funding.

Today, maximizing bank funding continues to be the cornerstone of our long-term liquidity strategy. We have made significant progress in migrating assets to Ally Bank and growing our retail deposit base since becoming a bank holding company. Deposits provide a low-cost source of funds that are less sensitive to interest rate changes, market volatility or changes in our credit ratings than other funding sources. At December 31, 2010, deposit liabilities totaled $39.0 billion, which constituted 29% of our total funding. This compares to just 14% at December 31, 2008.

In addition to building a larger deposit base, we continue to remain active in the securitization markets to finance our Ally Bank automotive loan portfolios. During 2010, we issued $8.1 billion in secured funding backed by retail and dealer floorplan automotive loans of Ally Bank. While deposits provide for a more stable funding base, our efficiencies in securitizations and improving capital market conditions have resulted in a reduction in the cost of funds achieved through secured funding transactions, making them a very attractive source of funding. For retail loans and leases, the primary reason why securitizations are an attractive funding source is that the term structure locks in funding for a specified pool of loans and leases for the life of the underlying asset. Once a pool of retail automobile loans are selected and placed into a securitization, the underlying assets and corresponding debt amortize simultaneously resulting in committed funding for the life of the asset. Performance of the underlying assets will have no bearing on any incremental liquidity risk. We manage the execution risk arising from secured funding by maintaining a diverse investor base and maintaining committed secured facilities.

As we have shifted our focus to migrating assets to Ally Bank and growing our bank funding capabilities, our reliance on parent company liquidity has similarly been reduced. Funding sources at the parent company generally consist of longer-term unsecured debt, private credit facilities, and asset-backed securitizations notably to fund our automotive loan portfolios in Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Historically, the unsecured term debt markets were a key source of long-term financing for us. However, given our ratings profile and market environment, during the second half of 2007 and throughout 2008 and

 

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2009 we chose not to target transactions in the unsecured term debt markets due to the expected high market rates and alternative funding sources. In 2010, we re-entered the unsecured long-term debt capital markets and issued over $8.0 billion of unsecured debt globally through several issuances. At December 31, 2010, we had $9.5 billion and $12.6 billion of unsecured long-term debt with maturities in 2011 and 2012, respectively. To fund these maturities, we will continue to follow this approach of being aggressive, yet opportunistic, in the unsecured debt markets to prefund upcoming debt maturities.

The strategies described above have resulted in us achieving and maintaining a conservative liquidity position. Total available liquidity at the parent company was $23.8 billion, and Ally Bank had $7.5 billion of available liquidity at December 31, 2010. At the same time, these strategies have also resulted in a cost of funds improvement of approximately 100 basis points since becoming a bank holding company. Looking forward, given our enhanced liquidity and capital position and improved credit ratings, we expect that our cost of funds will continue to improve over time.

Credit Strategy

We are a full spectrum automotive finance lender with most of our automotive loan originations underwritten within the prime-lending markets and with a plan to prudently expand in nonprime markets. Our Mortgage Origination and Servicing operations now primarily focus on selling conforming mortgages we originate or purchase in sales that take the form of securitizations guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and sells government-insured mortgage loans we originate or purchase in securitizations guaranteed by Ginnie Mae in the United States (collectively, the Government-sponsored Enterprises or GSEs).

During 2010, we noted significant improvement in our credit risk profile as a result of proactive credit risk initiatives that were taken in 2009 and 2010 and improvement in the overall economic environment. Risk initiatives undertaken included repositioning the loan portfolios from higher-risk, higher-yielding legacy assets to higher quality and lower risk assets. In addition, strategies were implemented to focus primarily on prime-lending markets, participation in mortgage loan modification programs, implementing tighter underwriting standards, and enhanced collection efforts. We discontinued and sold multiple nonstrategic operations, mainly in our international businesses, including our commercial construction portfolio. Within our Automotive Finance operations, we exited certain underperforming dealer relationships, curtailed leasing activities, and curtailed the origination of nonprime retail financings. Within our Mortgage operations, we reclassified certain legacy mortgage loans from held-for-investment to held-for-sale, which resulted in negative valuation adjustments.

During the year ended December 31, 2010, the credit performance of our portfolios improved overall as we benefited from lower frequency and severity of losses within our automotive portfolios and stabilization of asset quality trends within our mortgage portfolios. Nonperforming loans and charge-offs declined, and our provision for loan losses decreased from $5.6 billion in 2009 to $442 million in 2010.

We continue to see signs of economic stabilization in the housing and vehicle markets, although our total credit portfolio will continue to be affected by sustained levels of high unemployment and continued uncertainty in the housing market.

Representation and Warranty Obligations

We have made significant progress in mitigating repurchase reserve exposure through both settlements with key counterparties and continuing to maintain a robust reserve for representation and warranty obligations. We have settled with both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which resolve material repurchase obligations with each counterparty. We also settled with five counterparties related to whole-loan sales. Our representation and warranty expense decreased to $670 million in 2010 from $1.5 billion in 2009. The repurchase reserve of $830 million at December 31, 2010, primarily represents exposure not related to the GSEs.

Outstanding claims during 2010 have remained relatively constant with GSE claim activity declining and monoline and other claims activity increasing. Typically, the obligations under representation and warranties provided to monolines and other whole-loan investors are not as comprehensive as those to the GSEs. As such, we believe a significant portion of these claims are ineligible for a repurchase.

Our Mortgage operations have issued private-label mortgage-backed securities infrequently since 2007. This exposure is notably different from GSE exposure since representation and warranties are not as comprehensive, collateral is segregated into different programs based on risk, and many transactions include overcollateralization. We have a limited amount of repurchase experience with these investors, and therefore it is currently not possible to estimate future obligations and any related range of loss.

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Bank Holding Company and the Treasury’s Investments

During 2008, and continuing into 2009, the credit, capital, and mortgage markets became increasingly disrupted. This disruption led to severe reductions in liquidity and adversely affected our capital position. As a result, Ally sought approval to become a bank holding company to obtain access to capital at a lower cost to remain competitive in our markets. On December 24, 2008, Ally and IB Finance Holding Company, LLC, the holding company of Ally Bank, were each approved as bank holding companies under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. At the same time, Ally Bank converted from a Utah-chartered industrial bank into a Utah-chartered commercial nonmember bank. Ally Bank as an FDIC-insured depository institution, is subject to the supervision and examination of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions (UDFI). Ally Financial Inc. is subject to the supervision and examination of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the FRB). We are required to comply with regulatory risk-based and leverage capital requirements, as well as various safety and soundness standards established by the FRB, and are subject to certain statutory restrictions concerning the types of assets or securities that we may own and the activities in which we may engage.

As one of the conditions to becoming a bank holding company, the FRB required several actions of Ally, including meeting a minimum amount of regulatory capital. In order to meet this requirement, Ally took several actions, the most significant of which were the execution of private debt exchanges and cash tender offers to purchase and/or exchange certain of our and our subsidiaries outstanding notes held by eligible holders for a combination of cash, newly issued notes of Ally, and in the case of certain of the offers, preferred stock. The transactions resulted in an extinguishment of all notes tendered or exchanged into the offers and the new notes and stock were recorded at fair value on the issue date. This resulted in a pretax gain on extinguishment of debt of $11.5 billion and a corresponding increase to our capital levels. The gain included a $5.4 billion original issue discount representing the difference between the face value and the fair value of the new notes and is being amortized as interest expense over the term of the new notes. In addition, the U.S. Department of Treasury (the Treasury) made an initial investment in Ally on December 29, 2008, pursuant to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) with a $5.0 billion purchase of Ally perpetual preferred stock with a total liquidation preference of $5.25 billion (Perpetual Preferred Stock).

On May 21, 2009, the Treasury made a second investment of $7.5 billion in exchange for Ally mandatorily convertible preferred stock with a total liquidation preference of approximately $7.9 billion (the Old MCP), which included a $4 billion investment to support our agreement with Chrysler to provide automotive financing to Chrysler dealers and customers and a $3.5 billion investment related to the FRB’s Supervisory Capital Assessment Program requirements. Shortly after this second investment, on May 29, 2009, the Treasury acquired 35.36% of Ally common stock when it exercised its right to acquire 190,921 shares of Ally common stock from General Motors Corporation (GM) as repayment for an $884 million loan that the Treasury had previously provided to GM.

On December 30, 2009, we entered into another series of transactions with the Treasury under TARP, pursuant to which the Treasury (i) converted 60 million shares of Old MCP (with a total liquidation preference of $3.0 billion) into 259,200 shares of additional Ally common stock; (ii) invested $1.25 billion in new Ally mandatorily convertible preferred stock with a total liquidation preference of approximately $1.3 billion (the New MCP); and (iii) invested $2.54 billion in new trust preferred securities with a total liquidation preference of approximately $2.7 billion. At this time, the Treasury also exchanged all of its Perpetual Preferred Stock and remaining Old MCP (following the conversion of Old MCP described above) into additional New MCP.

Finally, on December 30, 2010, the Treasury converted 110 million shares of New MCP (with a total liquidation preference of approximately $5.5 billion) into 531,850 shares of additional Ally common stock. This action represents a critical step in our path to fully repay the Treasury’s investments. The conversion reduces dividends by approximately $500 million per year, assists with capital preservation, and is expected to improve profitability with a lower cost of funds. As a result of this conversion, the Treasury currently holds 73.8% of Ally common stock, approximately $5.9 billion in aggregate liquidation preference amount of New MCP and approximately $2.7 billion in aggregate liquidation preference amount of trust preferred securities. As a result of its current common stock investment, the Treasury is entitled to appoint six of the eleven total members of the Ally Board of Directors.

 

 

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The following table summarizes the investments in Ally made by the Treasury in 2008 and 2009.

 

($ in millions)    Investment type      Date      Cash
investment
     Warrants      Total  

TARP

     Preferred equity         December 29, 2008       $ 5,000       $ 250       $ 5,250   

GM Loan Conversion (a)

     Common equity         May 21, 2009         884                 884   

SCAP 1

     Preferred equity (MCP)         May 21, 2009         7,500         375         7,875   

SCAP 2

     Preferred equity (MCP)         December 30, 2009         1,250         63         1,313   

SCAP 2

     Trust preferred securities         December 30, 2009         2,540         127         2,667   
   

Total cash investments

         $ 17,174       $ 815       $ 17,989   
   

 

(a) In January 2009, the Treasury loaned $884 million to General Motors. In connection with that loan, the Treasury acquired rights to exchange that loan for 190,921 shares. In May 2009, the Treasury exercised that right.

The following table summarizes the Treasury’s investment in Ally at December 31, 2010.

 

December 31, 2010 ($ in millions)    Book Value      Face Value  

MCP (a)

   $ 5,685       $ 5,938   

Trust preferred securities

     2,540         2,667   

Common equity (b)

        73.8
   

 

(a) The amount equals the sum of converting $3.0 billion and $5.5 billion of MCP to common equity in December 2009 and December 2010, respectively.
(b) Represents the current common equity ownership position by the Treasury.

Discontinued Operations

During 2009 and 2010, we committed to sell certain operations of our International Automotive Finance operations, Insurance operations, Mortgage Legacy Portfolio and Other operations, and Commercial Finance Group, and have classified certain of these operations as discontinued. For all periods presented, all of the operating results for these operations have been removed from continuing operations. Refer to Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more details.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Primary Lines of Business

Our primary lines of business are Global Automotive Services and Mortgage. The following table summarizes the operating results excluding discontinued operations of each line of business. Operating results for each of the lines of business are more fully described in the MD&A sections that follow.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010     2009     2008     Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2010-2009
% change
    Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2009-2008
% change
 

Total net revenue (loss)

          

Global Automotive Services

          

North American Automotive Finance operations

   $ 4,011      $ 3,831      $ 2,597        5        48   

International Automotive Finance operations

     999        968        1,242        3        (22

Insurance operations

     2,360        2,271        2,961        4        (23

Mortgage

          

Origination and Servicing operations

     1,808        1,005        1,132        80        (11

Legacy Portfolio and Other operations

     865        (59     678        n/m        (109

Corporate and Other

     (2,141     (1,521     7,578        (41     (120
       

Total

   $ 7,902      $ 6,495      $ 16,188        22        (60
       

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income tax expense (benefit)

          

Global Automotive Services

          

North American Automotive Finance operations

   $ 2,344      $ 1,624      $ (322     44        n/m   

International Automotive Finance operations

     228        (157     102        n/m        n/m   

Insurance operations

     569        329        499        73        (34

Mortgage

          

Origination and Servicing operations

     917        39        462        n/m        (92

Legacy Portfolio and Other operations

     (254     (6,304     (3,070     96        (105

Corporate and Other

     (2,625     (2,490     7,066        (5     (135
       

Total

   $ 1,179      $ (6,959   $ 4,737        117        n/m   
   

n/m = not meaningful

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Consolidated Results of Operations

The following table summarizes our consolidated operating results excluding discontinued operations for the periods shown. Refer to the operating segment sections of the MD&A that follows for a more complete discussion of operating results by line of business.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010     2009     2008     Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2010-2009
% change
    Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2009-2008
% change
 

Net financing revenue

          

Total financing revenue and other interest income

   $ 11,447      $ 13,100      $ 18,054        (13     (27

Interest expense

     6,836        7,274        10,441        6        30   

Depreciation expense on operating lease assets

     2,030        3,748        5,478        46        32   

Impairment of investment in operating leases

                   1,218               100   
       

Net financing revenue

     2,581        2,078        917        24        127   

Other revenue

          

Net servicing income

     1,169        445        1,484        163        (70

Insurance premiums and service revenue earned

     1,865        1,977        2,710        (6     (27

Gain on mortgage and automotive loans, net

     1,267        811        159        56        n/m   

(Loss) gain on extinguishment of debt

     (123     665        12,628        (118     (95

Other gain (loss) on investments, net

     505        166        (378     n/m        144   

Other income, net of losses

     638        353        (1,332     81        127   
       

Total other revenue

     5,321        4,417        15,271        20        (71

Total net revenue

     7,902        6,495        16,188        22        (60

Provision for loan losses

     442        5,604        3,102        92        (81

Noninterest expense

          

Compensation and benefits expense

     1,622        1,576        1,916        (3     18   

Insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses

     876        1,042        1,402        16        26   

Other operating expenses

     3,783        5,232        5,031        28        (4
       

Total noninterest expense

     6,281        7,850        8,349        20        6   

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income tax expense (benefit)

     1,179        (6,959     4,737        117        n/m   

Income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations

     153        74        (136     (107     (154
       

Net income (loss) from continuing operations

   $ 1,026      $ (7,033   $ 4,873        115        n/m   
   

n/m = not meaningful

2010 Compared to 2009

We earned net income from continuing operations of $1.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $7.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009. Continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2010, were favorably impacted by our strategic mortgage actions taken during 2009 to stabilize our consumer and commercial portfolios that resulted in a significant decrease in our provision for loan losses and our continued focus on cost reduction resulted in lower operating expenses. The year ended December 31, 2010, was also favorably impacted by an increase in net servicing income; higher gains on the sale of loans; and lower impairments on equity investments, lot option projects, model homes, and foreclosed real estate.

Total financing revenue and other interest income decreased by 13% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. Our International Automotive Finance operations experienced lower consumer and commercial asset levels due to adverse business conditions in Europe and the runoff of wind-down portfolios in certain international countries as we shifted our focus to five core international markets: Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and China through our joint venture. A decline in asset levels in our Mortgage Legacy Portfolio and Other operations resulted from asset sales and

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

portfolio runoff. Operating lease revenue (along with the related depreciation expense) at our North American Automotive Finance operations decreased as a result of a net decline in the size of our operating lease portfolio due to our decision in late 2008 to significantly curtail leasing. The decrease was partially offset by lease portfolio remarketing gains due to strong used vehicle prices and higher remarketing volume as well as an increase in consumer and commercial financing revenue related to the addition of non-GM automotive financing business.

Interest expense decreased 6% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. Interest expense decreased as a result of a change in our funding mix with an increased amount of funding coming from deposit liabilities as well as favorable trends in the securitization markets.

Net servicing income was $1.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $445 million in 2009. The increase was primarily due to projected cash flow improvements related to slower prepayment speeds as well as higher Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loss mitigation incentive fees compared to prior year unfavorable hedge performance with respect to mortgage servicing rights.

Insurance premiums and service revenue earned decreased 6% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily driven by lower earnings from our U.S. extended service contracts due to a decrease in domestic written premiums related to lower vehicle sales volume during the period 2007 to 2009. The decrease was partially offset by increased volume in our international operations.

Gain on mortgage and automotive loans increased 56% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The increase was primarily related to unfavorable valuation adjustments taken during 2009 on our held-for-sale automobile loan portfolios, higher gains on mortgage whole-loan sales and securitizations in 2010 compared to 2009, higher gains on mortgage loan resolutions in 2010, and the recognition of a gain on the deconsolidation of an on-balance sheet securitization. The increase was partially offset by gains on the sale of wholesale automotive financing receivables during 2009 as there were no off-balance sheet wholesale funding transactions during 2010.

We incurred a loss on extinguishment of debt of $123 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to a gain of $665 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. The activity in all periods related to the extinguishment of certain Ally debt that for the year ended December 31, 2010, included $101 million of accelerated amortization of original issue discount.

Other gain on investments was $505 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $166 million in 2009. The increase was primarily due to higher realized investment gains driven by market repositioning and the sale of our tax-exempt securities portfolio. During the year ended December 31, 2009, we recognized other-than-temporary impairments of $55 million.

Other income, net of losses, increased 81% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The improvement in 2010 was primarily related to the absence of loan origination income deferral due to the fair value option election for our held-for-sale loans during the third quarter of 2009 and the impact of significant impairments recognized in 2009. In 2009, we recorded impairments on equity investments, lot option projects, model homes, and an $87 million fair value impairment upon the transfer of our resort finance portfolio from held-for-sale to held-for-investment. Also in 2010, we recognized gains on the sale of foreclosed real estate compared to losses and impairments in 2009.

The provision for loan losses was $442 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $5.6 billion in 2009. The Mortgage Legacy Portfolio and Other provision decreased $4.1 billion from the prior year due to an improved asset mix as a result of the strategic actions taken during the fourth quarter of 2009 to write-down and reclassify certain legacy mortgage loans from held-to-investment to held-for-sale. The decrease in provision was also driven by the continued runoff and improved loss performance of our Nuvell nonprime automotive financing portfolio.

Insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses decreased 16% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily driven by lower loss experience in our Mortgage Legacy Portfolio and Other operations’ captive reinsurance portfolio.

Other operating expenses decreased 28% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009, reflecting our continued expense reduction efforts. The improvements were primarily due to lower mortgage representation and warranty

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

expenses, reduced professional service expenses, lower technology and communications expense, lower full-service leasing vehicle maintenance costs, lower insurance commissions, and lower advertising and marketing expenses for the year ended December 31, 2010.

We recognized consolidated income tax expense of $153 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $74 million in 2009. The increase was driven primarily by foreign taxes on higher pretax profits not subject to valuation allowance and U.S. state income taxes in states where profitable subsidiaries are required to file separately from other loss companies in the group or where the use of prior year losses is restricted.

2009 Compared to 2008

We reported a net loss from continuing operations of $7.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to net income from continuing operations of $4.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008. The 2009 results from continuing operations were adversely affected by strategic actions taken in the fourth quarter of 2009 to sell certain legacy mortgage assets resulting in the reclassification of these loans from held-for-investment to held-for-sale. These actions resulted in provision for loan losses of $2.0 billion. Additionally, 2009 was adversely impacted by higher mortgage representation and warranty expense of $1.2 billion compared to 2008 and a $1.2 billion income tax expense impact related to our conversion from a limited liability company to a corporation effective June 30, 2009. The income tax expense related to our conversion was largely offset by income tax benefits resulting from the operating loss recognized in 2009. These adverse impacts were partially offset by a strengthening used vehicle market, which resulted in higher remarketing proceeds that favorably impacted depreciation expense and reduced the provision for loan losses as a result of higher collateral values that reduced our loss severity. Additionally, 2008 results benefited from an $11.5 billion pretax gain from the extinguishment of debt related to our bond exchange.

Total financing revenue and other interest income decreased by 27% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008, primarily due to lower asset levels at our Global Automotive Services and Mortgage Legacy Portfolio and Other operations as a result of lower asset origination levels and portfolio runoff. Consumer and operating lease revenue (along with the related depreciation expense) at our North American Automotive Finance operations and International Automotive Finance operations decreased as a result of our strategic decisions in late 2008 to significantly curtail leasing due to credit market dislocation, negative economic conditions, low consumer confidence, and decreasing lease residual values. In addition, our International Automotive Finance operations’ consumer and commercial asset levels were lower due to operations winding down in several countries. Declines in Legacy Mortgage asset levels resulted from asset sales and portfolio runoff. Additionally, we recognized lower yields on consumer mortgage loans as a result of higher delinquencies, increases in nonaccrual levels, and the impact of lower rates on adjustable-rate mortgage loans.

Interest expense was $7.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $10.4 billion in 2008. Interest expense decreased at our North American Automotive Finance operations and at our International Automotive Finance operations primarily due to reductions in the average balance of interest-bearing liabilities consistent with lower average asset levels. The decrease at Mortgage was primarily due to a lower average cost of funds due to declining interest rates and lower average borrowings related to a reduction in asset levels and extinguishments of ResCap debt. These decreases were partially offset by the amortization of the original issue discount associated with the December 2008 bond exchange.

No impairment of investment in operating leases was recognized in 2009. In 2008 we recognized a $1.2 billion impairment on our investment in operating leases that resulted from significant declines in used vehicle demand and used vehicle sales prices. The impairment consisted of $1.2 billion within our North American Automotive Finance operations and $26 million within our International Automotive Finance operations.

Net servicing income decreased 70% during the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was mainly due to unfavorable mortgage servicing valuations reflecting a projected reduction in cash flows and increased prepayment assumptions as a result of lower market interest rates compared to favorable valuation adjustments due to decreasing prepayment trends in 2008. Additionally, we recognized unfavorable hedge performance due to changes in the spreads between our servicing assets and the derivative hedge portfolio, which is used to manage interest rate risk. Our ability to fully hedge interest rate risk and volatility was restricted in the latter half of 2008 and during the year ended December 31, 2009, by the limited availability of willing counterparties to enter into forward agreements and liquidity constraints hindering our ability to take positions in the option markets. Servicing fees also declined as a result of portfolio runoff and sales of certain servicing assets during the second half of 2008.

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Insurance premiums and service revenue earned decreased 27% during the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was primarily due to the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency in November 2008. Additionally, lower earned premiums on extended service contracts written in current and prior periods, lower dealer inventory levels, and decreases within our international operations contributed to a decrease in revenue. These decreases were primarily due to the overall negative economic environment and lower dealership volumes.

The net gain on mortgage and automotive loans was $811 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $159 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. The net improvement in 2009 was primarily due to realized losses related to Legacy Mortgage asset sales in 2008. Additionally, we recognized improved margins on sales of loans in 2009 as a result of our focus on originating conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans. Partially offsetting the improvement was decreased gains from lower whole-loan sales volumes and securitization transactions in our North American Finance Automotive operations due to a shift in our strategy to a deposit-based funding model through Ally Bank with less reliance on the securitization markets.

Gain on extinguishment of debt totaled $665 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $12.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008. The 2009 results were primarily driven by the recognition of a $634 million gain on the extinguishment of certain debt as part of privately negotiated transactions. The 2008 results were impacted largely by the fourth quarter private debt exchange and cash tender offers that generated pretax gains of $11.5 billion. The 2008 results also include additional debt extinguishment gains of $1.1 billion recognized by Mortgage offset by losses of $23 million recognized by Corporate and Other due to the repurchase and extinguishment of ResCap debt.

Other net gain on investments was $166 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to a net loss of $378 million in 2008. The increase was primarily related to the write-off of certain investment securities in 2008 and lower other-than-temporary impairments on investment securities in 2009.

Other income, net of losses, increased $1.7 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The improvement was primarily related to the absence of certain 2008 events including a $570 million full equity-method investment impairment due to the decline in credit market conditions and unfavorable asset revaluations, significant equity investment losses, and the recognition of a $255 million impairment on the assets of our resort finance business in 2008. Additionally, the improvement was driven by lower losses on the sale of foreclosed real estate due to lower volume and severity and lower impairments on lot option projects and model homes, and lower losses on residual interests due to the write-down of home equity residuals in 2008. Partially offsetting these increases was a decrease in real estate brokerage fee income due to the 2008 sale of our business that provided brokerage and relocation services.

The provision for loan losses was $5.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $3.1 billion in 2008. The Mortgage provision for loan losses increased $2.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009. The increase was primarily due to strategic actions in the fourth quarter of 2009 as a result of the decision to sell certain legacy mortgage assets resulting in the reclassification of these assets from held-for-investment to held-for-sale and consequently the recognition of $2.0 billion in expense. Additionally, we recognized higher provision for loan losses on the Ally Bank held-for-investment portfolio due to higher projected delinquencies and loss severities, as well as regulatory input. The increase was partially offset by lower provision for loan losses as a result of lower mortgage loan and lending receivables balances in 2009 compared to 2008. Our North American Automotive Finance operations’ provision decreased $587 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, primarily due to a decrease in the provision for retail balloon contracts as a result of a strengthening used vehicle market in the United States and portfolio runoff as this product was curtailed in September 2008. Our Commercial Finance Group’s provision increased $481 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, due to an increase in provision for loan losses within the resort finance business and in our European operations.

Compensation and benefits expense decreased 18% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008, primarily due to lower employee headcount.

Insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses decreased 26% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was primarily driven by the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency and lower loss experience in our dealership-related products as a result of lower volumes.

 

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Other operating expenses increased 4% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. Other operating expenses were largely impacted by higher mortgage representation and warranty expense of $1.2 billion in 2009 compared to 2008. Excluding the effects of mortgage representation and warranty expense, other operating expenses decreased 22% in 2009 compared to 2008. Contributing to this improvement was a decrease in insurance commissions, reduced restructuring expenses, reduced professional service expenses, and lower vehicle remarketing and repossession expenses.

We recognized consolidated tax expense of $74 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to a tax benefit of $136 million in 2008. The increase in tax expense was primarily due to our conversion from a limited liability company to a corporation effective June 30, 2009, which resulted in the recognition of a $1.2 billion net deferred tax liability through income tax expense. Additionally, we recognized higher valuation allowances in 2009 compared to 2008. Partially offsetting the increase in expense was higher tax benefits on operating losses as a result of our conversion to a corporation. Refer to Note 24 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding our change in tax status.

Global Automotive Services

Results for Global Automotive Services are presented by reportable segment, which includes our North American Automotive Finance operations, our International Automotive Finance operations, and our Insurance operations.

North American Automotive Finance Operations

Results of Operations

The following table summarizes the operating results of our North American Automotive Finance operations for the periods shown. North American Automotive Finance operations consist of automotive financing in the United States and Canada and include the automotive activities of Ally Bank and ResMor Trust. The amounts presented are before the elimination of balances and transactions with our other reportable segments.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010      2009      2008     Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2010-2009
% change
    Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2009-2008
% change
 

Net financing revenue

            

Consumer

   $ 2,339       $ 1,804       $ 2,358        30        (23

Commercial

     1,425         1,136         1,044        25        9   

Loans held-for-sale

     112         320         473        (65     (32

Operating leases

     3,570         5,408         7,236        (34     (25

Interest and dividend income

     149         269         374        (45     (28
       

Total financing revenue and other interest income

     7,595         8,937         11,485        (15     (22

Interest expense

     2,377         2,363         3,534        (1     33   

Depreciation expense on operating lease assets

     1,897         3,500         5,228        46        33   

Impairment of investment in operating leases

                     1,192               100   
       

Net financing revenue

     3,321         3,074         1,531        8        101   

Other revenue

            

Servicing fees

     226         238         295        (5     (19

Gain on automotive loans, net

     249         220         442        13        (50

Other income

     215         299         329        (28     (9
       

Total other revenue

     690         757         1,066        (9     (29

Total net revenue

     4,011         3,831         2,597        5        48   

Provision for loan losses

     286         611         1,198        53        49   

Noninterest expense

            

Compensation and benefits expense

     387         435         482        11        10   

Other operating expenses

     994         1,161         1,239        14        6   
       

Total noninterest expense

     1,381         1,596         1,721        13        7   

Income (loss) before income tax expense

   $ 2,344       $ 1,624       $ (322     44        n/m   
       

Total assets

   $ 81,893       $ 68,282       $ 71,981        20        (5
   

n/m = not meaningful

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

2010 Compared to 2009

Our North American Automotive Finance operations earned income before income tax expense of $2.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $1.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009. Results for the year ended December 31, 2010, were favorably impacted by increased loan origination volume related to improved economic conditions, the growth of our non-GM consumer and commercial automotive financing business, and favorable remarketing results, which reflected continued strength in the used vehicle market.

Total financing revenue and other interest income decreased 15% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily related to a decline in operating lease revenue, which exceeded the growth in consumer and commercial net financing revenue. Operating lease revenue (along with the related depreciation expense) decreased primarily due to a decline in the size of our operating lease portfolio resulting from our decision in late 2008 to significantly curtail leasing. This decision was based on the significant decline in used vehicle prices that resulted in increasing residual losses during 2008 and an impairment of our lease portfolio. During the latter half of 2009, we selectively re-entered the leasing market with more targeted lease product offerings. As a result, runoff of the legacy portfolio exceeded new origination volume. The decrease in operating lease revenue was largely offset by an associated decline in depreciation expense, which was also favorably impacted by remarketing gains as a result of continued strength in the used vehicle market and higher remarketing volume. Consumer financing revenue (combined with interest income on consumer loans held-for-sale) increased 15% during the year ended December 31, 2010, primarily due to an increase in consumer loan origination volume as a result of improved economic conditions and increased volume from non-GM channels. Additionally, consumer asset levels increased due to the consolidation of consumer loans included in securitization transactions that were previously classified as off-balance sheet. Refer to Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information regarding the consolidation of these assets. The increase was partially offset by a change in the consumer asset mix related to the runoff of the higher-yielding Nuvell nonprime automotive financing portfolio. Commercial revenue increased 25%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2009, primarily due to an increase in dealer wholesale funding driven by improved economic conditions, the growth of non-GM wholesale floorplan business, and the recognition of all wholesale funding transactions on-balance sheet in 2010 compared to certain transactions that were off-balance sheet in 2009. Interest and dividend income decreased 45% for the year ended December 31, 2010, primarily due to a change in funding mix including lower levels of off-balance sheet securitizations.

Net gain on automotive loans increased 13% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The increase was primarily related to higher levels of retail whole-loan sales in 2010, higher gains on the sale of loans during 2010, and unfavorable valuation adjustments taken during 2009 on the held-for-sale portfolio. The increase was partially offset by higher gains on the sale of wholesale receivables during 2009 as there were no off-balance sheet wholesale funding transactions during 2010.

Other income decreased 28% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily due to unfavorable swap mark-to-market activity related to the held-for-sale loan portfolio in 2010.

The provision for loan losses was $286 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $611 million in 2009. The decrease was primarily driven by the continued runoff of our Nuvell portfolio and improved loss performance in the consumer loan portfolio reflecting improved pricing in the used vehicle market and higher credit quality of more recent originations.

Noninterest expense decreased 13% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily due to lower compensation and benefits expense primarily related to lower employee headcount resulting from rightsizing the cost structure with business volumes along with further productivity improvements, unfavorable foreign-currency movements during the year ended December 31, 2009, and lower IT and professional services costs due to continued focus on cost reduction.

2009 Compared to 2008

Our North American Automotive Finance operations earned income before income tax expense of $1.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to a loss before income tax expense of $322 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. The year ended December 31, 2009, was favorably impacted by a significant improvement in the used

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

vehicle market, which resulted in higher remarketing proceeds that favorably impacted operating lease depreciation expense. Additionally, we incurred lower provision for loan losses related to our liquidating retail balloon portfolio as a result of higher collateral values that reduced our loss severity. Further, because of this improvement in the used vehicle market, we did not recognize operating lease impairments in 2009, compared to impairments of $1.2 billion in 2008. These favorable items were partially offset by lower financing revenue related to a declining asset base resulting from reduced originations due to the economic recession and the dislocation in the capital and credit markets.

Total financing revenue and other interest income decreased 22% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. Consumer financing revenue (combined with interest income on consumer loans held-for-sale) decreased 25% during the year ended December 31, 2009, primarily due to lower average consumer asset levels. These lower asset levels were driven by significantly lower originations beginning in late 2008 due to the general economic recession and significantly tighter credit markets in the United States and Canada as well as the runoff of the higher-yielding Nuvell nonprime automotive financing portfolio. The $320 million of income on loans held-for-sale for the year ended December 31, 2009, related to interest on loans that are expected to be sold in whole-loan and full securitization transactions over the next twelve months. Commercial revenue increased 9%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2008, primarily due to an increase in average commercial loan balances that was primarily due to the growth in non-GM related wholesale floorplan business and the reconsolidation of certain off-balance sheet wholesale securitization transactions in 2009. Operating lease revenue (along with the related depreciation expense) decreased as new lease originations significantly declined due to our strategic decision in late 2008 to significantly curtail leasing. This decision was based on the significant decline in used vehicle prices that resulted in an impairment charge and increasing residual losses during 2008. The decrease in operating lease revenue was partially offset by remarketing gains resulting from higher used vehicle selling prices due to a strengthening used vehicle market in 2009. Interest and dividend income decreased 28% for the year ended December 31, 2009, primarily due to a change in funding mix including lower levels of off-balance sheet securitizations.

Interest expense decreased 33% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was driven by lower funding requirements due to lower average asset levels in 2009.

No impairment of investment in operating leases was recognized in 2009. In 2008, we recognized a $1.2 billion impairment that resulted from sharp declines in demand and used vehicle sale prices, which adversely affected vehicle remarketing proceeds.

Servicing fees decreased 19% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease in servicing fees related to declines in the serviced asset base primarily resulting from the runoff of the serviced lease portfolio.

We earned a net gain on automotive loans of $220 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $442 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. The decrease was primarily due to a shift in our strategy in 2009 to a deposit-based funding model through Ally Bank, with less reliance on the securitization markets. Lower whole-loan sales volumes and other off-balance sheet securitization transactions resulted in decreased gains on the sale of retail and wholesale loans.

The provision for loan losses decreased 49% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was due primarily to decreases in the provision for retail balloon contracts primarily as a result of a strengthening used vehicle market and portfolio runoff as this product was curtailed in September 2008. A lower supply of used vehicles in 2009, among other factors, resulted in increased residual values and, in turn, lower provision for loan losses. Additionally, during 2008, the commercial provision had trended higher in response to concerns over GM and associated GM-dealer financial health. These favorable developments were partially offset by an increase in provision for loan loss expense related to unfavorable loss trends in consumer loans in the Nuvell portfolio, primarily in the second half of 2009.

Other noninterest expense decreased 7% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was primarily driven by lower compensation and benefits expense and lower restructuring charges due to headcount reductions resulting from prior restructuring actions.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

International Automotive Finance Operations

Results of Operations

The following table summarizes the operating results of our International Automotive Finance operations excluding discontinued operations for the periods shown. The amounts presented are before the elimination of balances and transactions with our other reportable segments and include eliminations of balances and transactions among our North American Automotive Finance operations and Insurance operations.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010      2009     2008     

Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2010-2009

% change

   

Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2009-2008

% change

 

Net financing revenue

            

Consumer

   $ 1,075       $ 1,271      $ 1,604         (15     (21

Commercial

     390         495        819         (21     (40

Loans held-for-sale

     15         2                n/m        n/m   

Operating leases

     205         305        344         (33     (11

Interest and dividend income

     59         55        197         7        (72
        

Total financing revenue and other interest income

     1,744         2,128        2,964         (18     (28

Interest expense

     924         1,176        1,814         21        35   

Depreciation expense on operating lease assets

     137         247        247         45         

Impairment of investment in operating leases

                    26                100   
        

Net financing revenue

     683         705        877         (3     (20

Other revenue

            

Gain (loss) on automotive loans, net

     21         (77     2         127        n/m   

Other income

     295         340        363         (13     (6
        

Total other revenue

     316         263        365         20        (28

Total net revenue

     999         968        1,242         3        (22

Provision for loan losses

     54         230        204         77        (13

Noninterest expense

            

Compensation and benefits expense

     164         202        202         19          

Other operating expenses

     553         693        734         20        6   
        

Total noninterest expense

     717         895        936         20        4   

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income tax expense

   $ 228       $ (157   $ 102         n/m        n/m   
        

Total assets

   $ 15,979       $ 21,802      $ 29,290         (27     (26
   

n/m = not meaningful

2010 Compared to 2009

Our International Automotive Finance operations earned income from continuing operations before income tax expense of $228 million during the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to a loss from continuing operations before income tax expense of $157 million during the year ended December 31, 2009. Results for 2010 were favorably impacted by lower provision for loan losses and lower restructuring charges on wind-down operations.

Total financing revenue and other interest income decreased 18% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009, primarily due to decreases in consumer and commercial asset levels as the result of adverse business conditions in Europe and the runoff of wind-down portfolios.

Interest expense decreased 21% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009, primarily due to reductions in borrowing levels consistent with a lower asset base.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Depreciation expense on operating lease assets decreased 45% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009, primarily due to the continued runoff of the full-service leasing portfolio.

Net gain on automotive loans was $21 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to a net loss of $77 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. The losses for the year ended December 31, 2009, were due primarily to lower-of-cost or market adjustments on certain loans held-for-sale in certain wind-down operations. The gains for the year ended December 31, 2010, were primarily due to the partial release of lower-of-cost or market adjustments on loans held-for-sale in wind-down operations due to improved market values.

The provision for loan losses was $54 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $230 million in 2009. The decrease was primarily due to improved loss performance on the consumer portfolio reflecting higher origination quality in 2009 and 2010 and the improving financial position of our dealer customers in Europe.

Noninterest expense decreased 20% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily due to lower compensation and benefits expense primarily related to lower employee headcount resulting from restructuring activities, unfavorable foreign-currency movements during the year ended December 31, 2009, and lower IT and professional service costs due to continued focus on cost reduction.

2009 Compared to 2008

Our International Automotive Finance operations incurred a loss from continuing operations before income tax expense of $157 million during the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to income from continuing operations before income tax expense of $102 million during the year ended December 31, 2008. The year ended December 31, 2009, was unfavorably impacted by lower financing revenue related to a declining asset base. The asset base decline resulted from reduced originations due to the wind-down of operations in several countries and lower GM sales volume due to the general economic recession. The decrease was partially offset by lower funding costs commensurate with a lower asset base.

Total financing revenue and other interest income decreased 28% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. Consumer financing revenue decreased 21% during the year ended December 31, 2009, primarily due to lower consumer asset levels as a result of significantly lower originations due to the general economic recession, lower GM vehicle sales volume in 2009, and the wind-down of operations in several countries. Consumer asset levels at December 31, 2009, decreased $3.7 billion, or 24%, compared to December 31, 2008. Commercial revenue decreased 40% during 2009 compared to 2008, primarily due to lower commercial asset levels resulting from decreased GM sales volume and the wind-down of operations in several countries. Operating lease revenue decreased due to the significant curtailment of the lease product beginning in late 2008 and the runoff of assets in the full-service leasing portfolio. Interest and dividend income decreased 72% during the year ended December 31, 2009, primarily due to lower intercompany income resulting from a decline in intercompany-lending activity with our Commercial Finance Group and the reclassification of interest income on a one-time Brazil judicial deposit in 2008. Additionally, total financing revenue and other interest income were unfavorably impacted by foreign-currency movements as a result of the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in 2009 compared to 2008.

Interest expense decreased 35% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was driven by reductions in the average balance of interest-bearing liabilities consistent with a lower asset base and favorable foreign-currency movements.

No impairment of investment in operating leases was recognized in 2009. The $26 million recognized for the year ended December 31, 2008, related to the full-service leasing portfolio and resulted from declines in demand and used vehicle sale prices.

We incurred a net loss on automotive loans of $77 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to a net gain of $2 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. The loss for the year ended December 31, 2009, was primarily due to the recognition of a $61 million lower-of-cost or fair value adjustment on the held-for-sale Spanish consumer portfolio. Additionally, during 2009, we recognized a $16 million loss on the sale of our India portfolio.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Other income decreased 6% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was primarily related to lower full-service leasing fees as a result of asset runoff and the absence of a U.K. value added tax (VAT) refund received in 2008. The decrease was partially offset by favorable mark-to-market adjustments on derivatives and increased vehicle remarketing income on full-service leasing vehicles resulting from a stronger used vehicle market.

Other noninterest expense decreased 4% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The 2009 results were favorably impacted by the reclassification of interest income on a one-time Brazil judicial deposit in 2008 and lower IT and marketing expenses. The decrease in expense was partially offset by unfavorable foreign-currency movements and higher severance and restructuring expenses.

Automotive Finance Operations

Our North American Automotive Finance operations and our International Automotive Finance operations (Automotive Finance operations) provide automotive financing services to consumers and to automotive dealers. For consumers, we offer retail automobile financing and leasing for new and used vehicles, and through our commercial automotive financing operations, we fund dealer purchases of new and used vehicles through wholesale or floorplan financing.

Consumer Automotive Financing

Historically, we have provided two basic types of financing for new and used vehicles: retail automobile contracts (retail contracts) and automobile lease contracts. In most cases, we purchase retail contracts and leases for new and used vehicles from dealers when the vehicles are purchased or leased by consumers. In a number of markets outside the United States, we are a direct lender to the consumer. Our consumer automotive financing operations generate revenue through finance charges or lease payments and fees paid by customers on the retail contracts and leases. In connection with lease contracts, we also recognize a gain or loss on the remarketing of the vehicle at the end of the lease.

The amount we pay a dealer for a retail contract is based on the negotiated purchase price of the vehicle and any other products, such as service contracts, less any vehicle trade-in value and any down payment from the consumer. Under the retail contract, the consumer is obligated to make payments in an amount equal to the purchase price of the vehicle (less any trade-in or down payment) plus finance charges at a rate negotiated between the consumer and the dealer. In addition, the consumer is also responsible for charges related to past-due payments. When we purchase the contract, it is normal business practice for the dealer to retain some portion of the finance charge as income for the dealership. Our agreements with dealers place a limit on the amount of the finance charges they are entitled to retain. Although we do not own the vehicles we finance through retail contracts, we hold a perfected security interest in those vehicles. Due to funding challenges related to the general economic recession at the time, in January 2009, we ceased originating financing volume through Nuvell, which had focused on nonprime automotive financing through GM-affiliated dealers.

With respect to consumer leasing, we purchase leases (and the associated vehicles) from dealerships. The purchase price of consumer leases is based on the negotiated price for the vehicle less any vehicle trade-in and any down payment from the consumer. Under the lease, the consumer is obligated to make payments in amounts equal to the amount by which the negotiated purchase price of the vehicle (less any trade-in value or down payment) exceeds the projected residual value (including residual support) of the vehicle at lease termination, plus lease charges. The consumer is also generally responsible for charges related to past due payments, excess mileage, and excessive wear and tear. When the lease contract is entered into, we estimate the residual value of the leased vehicle at lease termination. We generally base our determination of the projected residual values on a guide published by an independent publisher of vehicle residual values, which is stated as a percentage of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. These projected values may be upwardly adjusted as a marketing incentive if the manufacturer or Ally considers above-market residual support necessary to encourage consumers to lease vehicles.

Consumer automobile leases are operating leases; therefore, credit losses on the operating lease portfolio are not as significant as losses on retail contracts because lease losses are limited to payments and assessed fees. Since some of these fees are not assessed until the vehicle is returned, these losses on the lease portfolio are correlated with lease termination volume. North American operating lease accounts past due over 30 days represented 2.36% and 3.12% of the total portfolio at December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. In late 2008, we significantly curtailed leasing due to distress in the capital markets and the significant decline in used vehicle prices that resulted in increased residual losses. We selectively re-entered the leasing market in 2009; however, originations are significantly lower than in past years. We did not receive residual support from GM or Chrysler on lease originations in 2010 or 2009.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Our standard U.S. leasing plan, SmartLease, requires a monthly payment by the consumer. We also offer an alternative leasing plan, SmartLease Plus, that requires one up-front payment of all lease amounts at the time the consumer takes possession of the vehicle. In addition to the SmartLease plans, prior to September 2008, we offered the SmartBuy plan through U.S. dealerships to consumers. SmartBuy combined certain features of a lease contract with those of a traditional retail contract. Under the SmartBuy plan, the customer pays regular monthly payments that are generally lower than would otherwise be owed under a traditional retail contract. At the end of the contract, the customer has several options including keeping the vehicle by making a final balloon payment, refinancing the balloon payment, or returning the vehicle to us and paying a disposal fee plus any applicable excess wear and excess mileage charges. Unlike a lease contract, during the course of a SmartBuy contract, the customer owns the vehicle, and we hold a perfected security interest in the vehicle. Effective September 2008, we ceased new originations of the SmartBuy product.

With respect to all financed vehicles, whether subject to a retail contract or a lease contract, we require that property damage insurance be obtained by the consumer. In addition, for lease contracts, we require that bodily injury and comprehensive and collision insurance be obtained by the consumer.

The consumer financing revenue of our Automotive Finance operations totaled $3.4 billion, $3.1 billion, and $4.0 billion in 2010, 2009, and 2008, respectively.

Consumer Automotive Financing Volume

The following table summarizes our new and used vehicle consumer financing volume and our share of consumer sales.

 

     Ally consumer automotive
financing volume
     % Share of
consumer sales
 
Year ended December 31, (units in thousands)    2010      2009      2008      2010      2009      2008  

GM new vehicles

                 

North America

     694         488         929         40         27         38   

International (excluding China) (a)

     299         272         421         22         20         32   

China (b)

     119         74         59         11         11         13   
            

Total GM new units financed

     1,112         834         1,409            
            

Chrysler new vehicles

                 

North America

     322         64         8         38         8           

International (excluding China)

     1                            
            

Total Chrysler new units financed

     323         64         8            
            

Other non-GM/Chrysler new vehicles

                 

North America

     33         10         52            

International (excluding China)

     4         4         25            

China (b)

     89         33         11            
            

Total other non-GM/Chrysler new units financed

     126         47         88            
            

Used vehicles

                 

North America

     269         142         339            

International (excluding China)

     25         22         103            
            

Total used units financed

     294         164         442            
            

Total consumer automotive financing volume

     1,855         1,109         1,947            
   

 

(a) Excludes financing volume and GM consumer sales of discontinued operations as well as GM consumer sales for other countries in which GM operates and in which we have no financing volume.
(b) Includes vehicles financed through a joint venture in China in which Ally owns a minority interest.

Growth in consumer automotive financing volume and related penetration levels in 2010 compared to 2009 were primarily driven by higher industry sales, growth of our leasing business, and full implementation of Ally Dealer Rewards. Volume and penetration levels were also favorably impacted by the addition of Chrysler consumer automotive financing.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Manufacturer Marketing Incentives

GM and Chrysler may elect to sponsor incentive programs (on both retail contracts and leases) by supporting finance rates below the standard market rates at which we purchase retail contracts. These marketing incentives are also referred to as rate support or subvention. When GM or Chrysler utilize these marketing incentives, we are compensated at contract inception for the present value of the difference between the customer rate and our standard rates, which we defer and recognize as a yield adjustment over the life of the contract.

GM historically provided incentives, referred to as residual support, on leases, although we currently do not have residual support arrangements on 2010 or 2009 originated leases. As previously mentioned, under these programs, we bear a portion of the risk of loss to the extent the value of a leased vehicle upon remarketing is below the projected residual value of the vehicle at the time the lease contract is signed. However, these projected values may be upwardly adjusted as a marketing incentive if GM considers an above-market residual appropriate to encourage consumers to lease vehicles. Residual support by GM results in a lower monthly lease payment for the consumer. GM reimburses us to the extent remarketing sales proceeds are less than the residual value set forth in the lease contract and no greater than our standard residual rates.

In addition to the residual support arrangement for leases originated prior to 2009, GM shares in residual risk on a significant portion of off-lease vehicles sold at auction. Specifically, we and GM share a portion of the loss when resale proceeds fall below the standard residual values on vehicles sold at auction. GM reimburses us for a portion of the difference to the extent that proceeds are lower than our standard residual values (limited to a floor).

Under what we refer to as GM-sponsored pull-ahead programs, consumers may be encouraged to terminate leases early in conjunction with the acquisition of a new GM vehicle. As part of these programs, we waive all or a portion of the customer’s remaining payment obligation. Under most programs, GM compensates us for a portion of the foregone revenue from the waived payments partially offset to the extent that our remarketing sales proceeds are higher than otherwise would be realized if the vehicle had been remarketed at lease contract maturity.

On November 30, 2006, and in connection with the sale by GM of a 51% interest in Ally, GM and Ally entered into several service agreements that codified the mutually beneficial historic relationship between the companies. One such agreement was the United States Consumer Financing Services Agreement (the Financing Services Agreement). The Financing Services Agreement, among other things, provided that subject to certain conditions and limitations, whenever GM offers vehicle financing and leasing incentives to customers (e.g., lower interest rates than market rates), it would do so exclusively through Ally. This requirement was effective through November 2016, and in consideration for this, Ally paid to GM an annual exclusivity fee and was required to meet certain targets with respect to consumer retail and lease financings of new GM vehicles.

Effective December 29, 2008, and in connection with the approval of our application to become a bank holding company, GM and Ally modified certain terms and conditions of the Financing Services Agreement. Certain of these amendments include the following: (1) for a two-year period, GM can offer retail financing incentive programs through a third-party financing source under certain specified circumstances and, in some cases, subject to the limitation that pricing offered by the third party meets certain restrictions, and after the two-year period GM can offer any such incentive programs on a graduated basis through third parties on a nonexclusive, side-by-side basis with Ally, provided that the pricing of such third parties meets certain requirements; (2) Ally will have no obligation to provide operating lease financing products; and (3) Ally will have no targets against which it could be assessed penalties. The modified Financing Services Agreement will expire on December 31, 2013. After December 31, 2013, GM will have the right to offer retail financing incentive programs through any third-party financing source, including Ally, without restrictions or limitations. A primary objective of the Financing Services Agreement continues to be supporting distribution and marketing of GM products.

Retail and lease contracts acquired by us that included rate and residual subvention from GM as a percentage of total new GM retail and lease contracts acquired, were as follows.

 

Year ended December 31,    2010   2009   2008

North America operations (a)

   51%   69%   79%

International operations (a) (b)

   43%   53%   42%
 

 

(a) We did not receive residual support from GM on lease originations in 2010 or 2009.
(b) Represents subvention for continuing operations only.

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

On August 6, 2010, we entered into an agreement with Chrysler LLC (Chrysler) to be the preferred provider of financial services for Chrysler vehicles. The agreement replaced and superseded the legally binding term sheet that we entered into with Chrysler on April 30, 2009, which contemplated this definitive agreement. We provide retail financing to Chrysler dealers and customers as we deem appropriate according to our credit policies and in our sole discretion. Chrysler is obligated to provide us with certain exclusivity privileges including the use of Ally for designated minimum threshold percentages of certain of Chrysler’s retail financing subvention programs. The agreement extends through April 30, 2013, with automatic one-year renewals unless either we or Chrysler provides sufficient notice of nonrenewal.

Servicing

We have historically serviced all retail contracts and leases we retained on-balance sheet. We historically sold a portion of the retail contracts we originated and retained the right to service and earn a servicing fee for our servicing functions. Ally Servicing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, performs most servicing activities for U.S. retail contracts and consumer automobile leases.

Servicing activities consist largely of collecting and processing customer payments, responding to customer inquiries such as requests for payoff quotes, processing customer requests for account revisions (such as payment extensions and rewrites), maintaining a perfected security interest in the financed vehicle, monitoring vehicle insurance coverage, and disposing of off-lease vehicles. Servicing activities are generally consistent for our Automotive Finance operations; however, certain practices may be influenced by local laws and regulations.

Our U.S. customers have the option to receive monthly billing statements or coupon books, to remit payment by mail or through electronic fund transfers, or to establish online web-based account administration through the Ally Account Center. Customer payments are processed by regional third-party processing centers that electronically transfer payment data to customers’ accounts.

Servicing activities also include initiating contact with customers who fail to comply with the terms of the retail contract or lease. These contacts typically begin with a reminder notice when the account is 5 to 15 days past due. Telephone contact typically begins when the account is 1 to 15 days past due. Accounts that become 20 to 30 days past due are transferred to special collection teams that track accounts more closely. The nature and timing of these activities depend on the repayment risk of the account.

During the collection process, we may offer a payment extension to a customer experiencing temporary financial difficulty. A payment extension enables the customer to delay monthly payments for 30, 60, or 90 days, thereby deferring the maturity date of the contract by the period of delay. Extensions granted to a customer typically do not exceed 90 days in the aggregate during any 12-month period or 180 days in aggregate over the life of the contract. If the customer’s financial difficulty is not temporary and management believes the customer could continue to make payments at a lower payment amount, we may offer to rewrite the remaining obligation, extending the term and lowering the monthly payment obligation. In those cases, the principal balance generally remains unchanged while the interest rate charged to the customer generally increases. Extension and rewrite collection techniques help mitigate financial loss in those cases where management believes the customer will recover from financial difficulty and resume regularly scheduled payments or can fulfill the obligation with lower payments over a longer period. Before offering an extension or rewrite, collection personnel evaluate and take into account the capacity of the customer to meet the revised payment terms. Although the granting of an extension could delay the eventual charge-off of an account, typically we are able to repossess and sell the related collateral, thereby mitigating the loss. As an indication of the effectiveness of our consumer credit practices, of the total amount outstanding in the U. S. traditional retail portfolio at December 31, 2007, only 8.2% of the extended or rewritten accounts were subsequently charged off through December 31, 2010. A three-year period was utilized for this analysis as this approximates the weighted average remaining term of the portfolio. At December 31, 2010, 7.4% of the total amount outstanding in the servicing portfolio had been granted an extension or was rewritten.

Subject to legal considerations, in the United States we normally begin repossession activity once an account becomes greater than 60-days past due. Repossession may occur earlier if management determines the customer is unwilling to pay, the

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

vehicle is in danger of being damaged or hidden, or the customer voluntarily surrenders the vehicle. Approved third-party repossession firms handle repossessions. Normally the customer is given a period of time to redeem the vehicle by paying off the account or bringing the account current. If the vehicle is not redeemed, it is sold at auction. If the proceeds do not cover the unpaid balance, including unpaid financing charges and allowable expenses, the resulting deficiency is charged off. Asset recovery centers pursue collections on accounts that have been charged off, including those accounts where the vehicle was repossessed, and skip accounts where the vehicle cannot be located.

At December 31, 2010 and 2009, our total consumer automotive serviced portfolio was $78.8 billion and $82.6 billion, respectively, compared to our consumer automotive on-balance sheet portfolio of $60.4 billion at December 31, 2010, and our managed portfolio of $63.1 billion at December 31, 2009. Prior to 2010, our managed portfolio included retail receivables held on-balance sheet for investment and receivables securitized and sold that we continued to service and in which we had a continuing involvement (i.e., in which we retain an interest or risk of loss in the underlying receivables). On January 1, 2010, we adopted ASU 2009-17, Improvements to Financial Reporting by Enterprises Involved with Variable Interest Entities (ASU 2009-17), that resulted in the consolidation of all receivables that had been considered off-balance sheet and included as part of our managed portfolio becoming on-balance sheet assets.

Remarketing and Sales of Leased Vehicles

When we acquire a consumer lease, we assume ownership of the vehicle from the dealer. Neither the consumer nor the dealer is responsible for the value of the vehicle at the time of lease termination. When vehicles are not purchased by customers or the receiving dealer at lease termination, the vehicle is returned to us for remarketing through an auction. We generally bear the risk of loss to the extent the value of a leased vehicle upon remarketing is below the projected residual value determined at the time the lease contract is signed. GM may share this risk with us for certain leased GM vehicles, as described previously under Manufacturer Marketing Incentives.

The following table summarizes our methods of vehicle sales in the United States at lease termination stated as a percentage of total lease vehicle disposals.

 

Year ended December 31,    2010     2009     2008  

Auction

      

Internet

     60     57     47

Physical

     18     25     38

Sale to dealer

     12     11     10

Other (including option exercised by lessee)

     10     7     5
   

We primarily sell our off-lease vehicles through:

 

   

Internet auctions — We offer off-lease vehicles to dealers and certain other third parties in the United States through our proprietary internet site (SmartAuction). This internet sales program maximizes the net sales proceeds from off-lease vehicles by reducing the time between vehicle return and ultimate disposition, reducing holding costs, and broadening the number of prospective buyers. We maintain the internet auction site, set the pricing floors on vehicles, and administer the auction process. We earn a service fee for every vehicle sold through SmartAuction.

 

   

Physical auctions — We dispose of our off-lease vehicles not purchased at termination by the lease consumer or dealer or sold on an internet auction through traditional official manufacturer-sponsored auctions. We are responsible for handling decisions at the auction including arranging for inspections, authorizing repairs and reconditioning, and determining whether bids received at auction should be accepted.

Commercial Automotive Financing

Automotive Wholesale Dealer Financing

One of the most important aspects of our dealer relationships is supporting the sale of vehicles through wholesale or floorplan financing. We primarily support automotive finance purchases by dealers of new and used vehicles manufactured or

 

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Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

distributed before sale or lease to the retail customer. Wholesale automotive financing represents the largest portion of our commercial financing business and is the primary source of funding for dealers’ purchases of new and used vehicles. During 2010, we financed an average of $18.9 billion of new GM vehicles, representing an 86% share of GM’s North American dealer inventory and a 75% share of GM’s international dealer inventory in countries where GM operates and we had dealer inventory financing, excluding China. We also financed an average of $5.8 billion of new Chrysler vehicles representing a 75% share of Chrysler’s North American dealer inventory. In addition, we financed an average of $2.4 billion of new non-GM/Chrysler vehicles.

On August 6, 2010, we entered into an agreement with Chrysler to provide automotive financing products and services to Chrysler dealers. The agreement replaced and superseded the legally binding term sheet that we entered into with Chrysler on April 30, 2009, which contemplated this definitive agreement. We are Chrysler’s preferred provider of new wholesale financing for dealer inventory in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other international markets upon the mutual agreement of the parties. We provide dealer financing and services to Chrysler dealers as we deem appropriate according to our credit policies and in our sole discretion. The agreement extends through April 30, 2013, with automatic one-year renewals unless either we or Chrysler provides sufficient notice of nonrenewal.

Wholesale credit is arranged through lines of credit extended to individual dealers. In general, each wholesale credit line is secured by all vehicles and by other assets owned by the dealer or the operator’s or owner’s personal guarantee. Additionally, to minimize our risk, both GM and Chrysler are bound by repurchase obligations that, under certain circumstances, require them to repurchase new vehicle inventory, such as dealer default. The amount we advance to dealers is equal to 100% of the wholesale invoice price of new vehicles, which includes destination and other miscellaneous charges, and with respect to vehicles manufactured by GM and other motor vehicle manufacturers, a price rebate, known as a holdback, from the manufacturer to the dealer in varying amounts stated as a percentage of the invoice price. Interest on wholesale automotive financing is generally payable monthly. Most wholesale automotive financing of our North American Automotive Finance operations is structured to yield interest at a floating rate indexed to the Prime Rate. The wholesale automotive financing of our International Automotive Finance operations is structured to yield interest at a floating rate indexed to benchmark rates specific to the relative country. The rate for a particular dealer is based on, among other things, competitive factors, the amount and status of the dealer’s creditworthiness, and various incentive programs.

Under the terms of the credit agreement with the dealer, we may demand payment of interest and principal on wholesale credit lines at any time; however, unless we terminate the credit line or the dealer defaults, we generally require payment of the principal amount financed for a vehicle upon its sale or lease by the dealer to the customer. Ordinarily, a dealer has between one and five days, based on risk and exposure of the account, to satisfy the obligation.

Under wholesale financing arrangements, we lend money to GM-franchised dealers to finance their vehicle inventory purchases from GM. We advance the loan proceeds directly to GM. Under an agreement with GM, the advances were made before the date the vehicles were expected to be delivered to the dealers. We earned $178 million of interest under the terms of this arrangement during the year ended December 31, 2010. At the end of 2010 GM terminated this advance payment arrangement. We expect any remaining interest payments in 2011 in connection with the terminated arrangement to be minimal.

The commercial wholesale revenue of our Automotive Finance operations totaled $1.4 billion, $1.2 billion, and $1.3 billion in 2010, 2009, and 2008, respectively.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Commercial Wholesale Financing Volume

The following table summarizes the average balances of our commercial wholesale floorplan finance receivables of new and used vehicles and share of dealer inventory in markets where we operate.

 

     Average balance      % Share of dealer inventory  
Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010      2009      2008      2010      2009      2008  

GM new vehicles

                 

North America (a)

   $ 14,948       $ 17,107       $ 24,306         86         86         88   

International (excluding China) (b) (c)

     2,919         3,311         4,804         75         91         97   

China (b) (d)

     1,075         573         633         81         80         84   
            

Total GM new vehicles financed

     18,942         20,991         29,743            
            

Chrysler new vehicles

                 

North America (a)

     5,793         1,762         512         75         25           

International

     42         27                    
            

Total Chrysler new vehicles financed

     5,835         1,789         512            
            

Other non-GM/Chrysler new vehicles

                 

North America

     1,951         1,741         2,381            

International (excluding China)

     414         621         1,300            

China (d)

             5         39            
            

Total other non-GM/Chrysler new vehicles financed

     2,365         2,367         3,720            
            

Used vehicles

                 

North America

     3,044         2,401         3,203            

International (excluding China)

     358         255         407            
            

Total used vehicles financed

     3,402         2,656         3,610            
   

Total commercial wholesale finance receivables

   $ 30,544       $ 27,803       $ 37,585            
   

 

(a) Share of dealer inventory based on end of period dealer inventory.
(b) Share of dealer inventory based on wholesale financing share of GM shipments.
(c) Excludes commercial wholesale finance receivables and dealer inventory of discontinued operations as well as dealer inventory for other countries in which GM operates and in which we had no commercial wholesale finance receivables.
(d) Includes vehicles financed through a joint venture in China in which Ally owns a minority interest.

Commercial wholesale financing average volume increased during 2010 compared to 2009, primarily due to the addition of Chrysler wholesale automotive financing. The reduction in GM’s wholesale volume reflects the elimination of the Hummer, Saturn, and Pontiac brands, along with the reduction of total GM dealers. North American penetration levels remained strong in 2010.

Other Commercial Automotive Financing

We also provide other forms of commercial financing for the automotive industry including automotive dealer term loans and automotive fleet financing. Automotive dealer term loans are loans that we make to dealers to finance other aspects of the dealership business. These loans are typically secured by real estate, other dealership assets, and the personal guarantees of the individual owners of the dealership. Automotive fleet financing may be obtained by dealers, their affiliates, and other companies and be used to purchase vehicles, which they lease or rent to others. We generally have a security interest in these vehicles and in the rental payments; however, competitive factors may occasionally limit the security interest in this collateral.

Servicing and Monitoring

We service all of the wholesale credit lines in our portfolio and the wholesale automotive finance receivables that we have securitized. A statement setting forth billing and account information is distributed on a monthly basis to each dealer.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Interest and other nonprincipal charges are billed in arrears and are required to be paid immediately upon receipt of the monthly billing statement. Generally, dealers remit payments to Ally through wire transfer transactions initiated by the dealer through a secure web application.

Dealers are assigned a risk rating based on various factors, including capital sufficiency, operating performance, financial outlook, and credit and payment history. The risk rating affects the amount of the line of credit, the determination of further advances, and the management of the account. We monitor the level of borrowing under each dealer’s account daily. When a dealer’s balance exceeds the credit line, we may temporarily suspend the granting of additional credit or increase the dealer’s credit line or take other actions following evaluation and analysis of the dealer’s financial condition and the cause of the excess.

We periodically inspect and verify the existence of dealer vehicle inventories. The timing of the verifications varies, and no advance notice is given to the dealer. Among other things, verifications are intended to determine dealer compliance with the financing agreement and confirm the status of our collateral.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Insurance

Results of Operations

The following table summarizes the operating results of our Insurance operations excluding discontinued operations for the periods shown. The amounts presented are before the elimination of balances and transactions with our other operating segments.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010     2009     2008    

Favorable/

(unfavorable)
2010-2009

% change

   

Favorable/

(unfavorable)
2009-2008

% change

 

Insurance premiums and other income

          

Insurance premiums and service revenue earned

   $ 1,836      $ 1,933      $ 2,666        (5     (27

Investment income

     451        266        112        70        138   

Other income

     73        72        183        1        (61
       

Total insurance premiums and other income

     2,360        2,271        2,961        4        (23

Expense

          

Insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses

     840        875        1,311        4        33   

Acquisition and underwriting expense

          

Compensation and benefits expense

     117        136        156        14        13   

Insurance commissions expense

     601        654        821        8        20   

Other expenses

     233        277        174        16        (59
       

Total acquisition and underwriting expense

     951        1,067        1,151        11        7   
       

Total expense

     1,791        1,942        2,462        8        21   

Income from continuing operations before income tax expense

   $ 569      $ 329      $ 499        73        (34
       

Total assets

   $ 8,789      $ 10,614      $ 12,013        (17     (12
       

Insurance premiums and service revenue written

   $ 1,588      $ 1,436      $ 2,158        11        (33
       

Combined ratio (a)

     94.1     97.0     89.1    
   

 

(a) Management uses combined ratio as a primary measure of underwriting profitability with its components measured using accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Underwriting profitability is indicated by a combined ratio under 100% and is calculated as the sum of all incurred losses and expenses (excluding interest and income tax expense) divided by the total of premiums and service revenues earned and other income.

2010 Compared to 2009

Our Insurance operations earned income from continuing operations before income tax expense of $569 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $329 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. The increase was primarily due to higher realized investment gains driven by overall market improvement and reduced expenses.

Insurance premiums and service revenue earned was $1.8 billion for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $1.9 billion in 2009. Insurance premiums and service revenue earned decreased primarily due to lower earnings from our U.S. extended service contracts due to a decrease in domestic written premiums related to lower vehicle sales volume from 2007 to 2009. The decrease was partially offset by increased volume in our international operations.

Investment income totaled $451 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $266 million in 2009. The increase was primarily due to higher realized investment gains driven by market repositioning. During the year ended December 31, 2009, we realized other-than-temporary impairments of $55 million. The increase in investment income was also slightly offset by reductions in the average size of the investment portfolio throughout the year and a decrease in the average security investment yield. The fair value of the investment portfolio was $4.2 billion and $4.7 billion at December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Acquisition and underwriting expense decreased 11% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily due to lower expenses in our U.S. dealership-related products matching our decrease in earned premiums. The decrease was partially offset by increased expenses within our international operations to match the increase in earned premiums.

Insurance premiums and service revenue written was $1.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $1.4 billion in 2009. Insurance premiums and service revenue written increased due to higher written premiums in our U.S. dealership-related products, particularly our vehicle service contract products. Vehicle service contract revenue is earned over the life of the service contract on a basis proportionate to the expected loss pattern. As such, the majority of earnings from vehicle service contracts written during the year ended December 31, 2010, will be recognized as income in future periods.

2009 Compared to 2008

Our Insurance operations earned income from continuing operations before income tax expense of $329 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $499 million for 2008. Income from continuing operations before income tax expense decreased primarily due to unfavorable underwriting results, principally driven by decreases in premiums earned, and a $93 million gain on the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency in 2008. These negative impacts were offset by higher realized investment gains during 2009 compared to realized investment losses taken in 2008.

Insurance premiums and service revenue earned decreased 27% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. Insurance premiums and service revenue earned decreased primarily due to the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency in November 2008. Additionally, decreases were recognized due to lower earned premiums on extended service contracts written in 2009 and prior periods, lower dealer inventory levels, and decreases in international operations. These decreases were primarily due to the overall negative economic environment.

Investment income totaled $266 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $112 million in 2008. Investment income increased primarily due to the recognition of $79 million of realized capital gains during 2009 compared to $139 million of realized capital losses in 2008, which were driven by unfavorable investment market volatility. The increase was offset by a reduction in the size of the investment portfolio primarily driven by the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency. The value of the investment portfolio was $4.7 billion and $5.1 billion at December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Additionally, during the year ended December 31, 2009, other-than-temporary impairments of $55 million were recognized on certain investment securities due to unfavorable market conditions.

Other income totaled $72 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $183 million in 2008. The decrease was primarily due to a $93 million gain recognized in 2008 related to the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency.

Insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses decreased 33% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was primarily driven by the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency and lower loss experience in our dealership-related products as a result of lower volumes.

Acquisition and underwriting expense decreased 7% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was primarily due to the sale of our U.S. reinsurance agency and lower volumes, which was partially offset by an increase in corporate overhead allocations.

Underwriting and Risk Management

We determine the premium pricing for our extended service contracts and rates for our insurance policies based upon an analysis of expected losses using historical experience and anticipated future trends. For example, in pricing our extended service contracts, we make assumptions as to the price of replacement parts and repair labor rates in the future.

In underwriting our extended service contracts and insurance policies, we assess the particular risk involved and determine the acceptability of the risk as well as the categorization of the risk for appropriate pricing. We base our determination of the risk on various assumptions tailored to the respective insurance product. With respect to automotive service contracts, assumptions include the quality of the vehicles produced and new model introductions.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

In some instances, ceded reinsurance is used to reduce the risk associated with volatile businesses, such as catastrophe risk in U.S. dealer vehicle inventory insurance or smaller businesses, such as Canadian automobile or European-dealer vehicle inventory insurance. Our commercial products business is covered by traditional catastrophe protection, aggregate stop loss protection, and an extension of catastrophe coverage for hurricane events. In addition, loss control techniques, such as hail nets or storm path monitoring to assist dealers in preparing for severe weather, help to mitigate loss potential.

We mitigate losses by the active management of claim settlement activities using experienced claims personnel and the evaluation of current period reported claims. Losses for these events may be compared to prior claims experience, expected claims, or loss expenses from similar incidents to assess the reasonableness of incurred losses.

Cash and Investments

A significant aspect of our Insurance operations is the investment of proceeds from premiums and other revenue sources. We use these investments to satisfy our obligations related to future claims at the time these claims are settled. Our Insurance operations have an Investment Committee, which develops guidelines and strategies for these investments. The guidelines established by this committee reflect our risk tolerance, liquidity requirements, regulatory requirements, and rating agency considerations, among other factors.

The following table summarizes the composition of our Insurance operations cash and investment portfolio at fair value.

 

December 31, ($ in millions)    2010      2009  

Cash

     

Noninterest-bearing cash

   $ 28       $ 17   

Interest-bearing cash

     1,168         104   
   

Total cash

     1,196         121   
   

Available-for-sale securities

     

Debt securities

     

U.S. Treasury and federal agencies

     219         198   

States and political subdivisions

             806   

Foreign government

     744         844   

Mortgage-backed

     826         462   

Asset-backed

     11         58   

Corporate debt

     1,559         1,354   

Other debt

             261   
   

Total debt securities

     3,359         3,983   
   

Equity securities

     796         671   
   

Total available-for-sale securities

     4,155         4,654   
   

Total cash and securities

   $ 5,351       $ 4,775   
   

Loss Reserves

In accordance with industry and accounting practices and applicable insurance laws and regulatory requirements, we maintain reserves for reported losses, losses incurred but not reported, and loss adjustment expenses. These reserves are based on various estimates and assumptions and are maintained both for business written on a current basis and policies written and fully earned in prior years to the extent there continues to be outstanding and open claims in the process of resolution. Refer to the Critical Accounting Estimates section of this MD&A and Note 18 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion. The estimated values of our prior reported loss reserves and changes to the estimated values are routinely monitored by credentialed actuaries. Our reserve estimates are regularly reviewed by management; however, since the reserves are based on estimates and numerous assumptions, the ultimate liability may differ from the amount estimated.

 

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Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

Mortgage

Our Mortgage operations include the ResCap legal entity, the mortgage operations of Ally Bank, and the Canadian mortgage operations of ResMor Trust. Results for our Mortgage operations are presented by reportable segment, which includes our Origination and Servicing operations and our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations.

Origination and Servicing Operations

Results of Operations

The following table summarizes the operating results for our Origination and Servicing operations for the periods shown. Our Origination and Servicing operations principal activities include originating, purchasing, selling, and securitizing conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans in the United States and Canada; servicing residential mortgage loans for ourselves and others; and providing collateralized lines of credit to other mortgage originators, which we refer to as warehouse lending. We also originate high-quality prime jumbo mortgage loans in the United States. We finance our mortgage loan originations primarily in Ally Bank in the United States and in our trust company, ResMor Trust, in Canada.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    2010     2009     2008    

Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2010-2009

% change

   

Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2009-2008

% change

 

Net financing loss

          

Total financing revenue and other interest income

   $ 460      $ 362      $ 484        27        (25

Interest expense

     486        420        633        (16     34   
       

Net financing loss

     (26     (58     (149     55        61   

Servicing fees

     1,340        1,322        1,456        1        (9

Servicing asset valuation and hedge activities, net

     (394     (1,113     (277     65        n/m   
       

Total servicing income, net

     946        209        1,179        n/m        (82

Gain on mortgage loans, net

     616        708        324        (13     119   

Other income, net of losses

     272        146        (222     86        166   
       

Total other revenue

     1,834        1,063        1,281        73        (17

Total net revenue

     1,808        1,005        1,132        80        (11

Provision for loan losses

     (29     41        8        171        n/m   

Noninterest expense

          

Compensation and benefits expense

     267        286        162        7        (77

Representation and warranty expense

     (22     32               169        n/m   

Other operating expenses

     675        607        500        (11     (21
       

Total noninterest expense

     920        925        662        1        (40

Income before income tax expense

   $ 917      $ 39      $ 462        n/m        (92
       

Total assets

   $ 24,478      $ 20,010      $ 11,870        22        69   
   

n/m = not meaningful

2010 Compared to 2009

Our Origination and Servicing operations earned income before income tax expense of $917 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $39 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. The 2010 results were primarily driven by strong production and margins as a result of increased refinancings, higher net servicing income, lower provision for loan losses, and lower noninterest expense.

Net financing loss was $26 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $58 million in 2009. During 2010, net financing loss was favorably impacted by an increase in interest income primarily due to an increase in the average balance driven by an increase in our jumbo mortgage loan originations, which we resumed originating in the middle part of 2009, and a larger average loans held-for-sale portfolio due to an increase in production. Partially offsetting the increase was higher interest expense driven primarily by higher borrowings due to increased production and higher cost of funds.

 

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Net servicing income was $946 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $209 million in 2009. The increase was primarily due to projected cash flow improvements related to slower prepayment speeds as well as higher HAMP loss mitigation incentive fees compared to prior year unfavorable hedge performance with respect to mortgage servicing rights.

The net gain on mortgage loans was $616 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $708 million in 2009. The decrease was primarily due to unfavorable mark-to-market movement on the mortgage pipeline and a favorable mark-to-market taken in 2009 on released lower-of-cost or market adjustments related to implementation of fair value accounting on the held-for-sale portfolio.

Other income, net of losses, increased 86% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009, primarily due to favorable mortgage processing fees related to the absence of loan origination income deferral in 2010 due to the fair value option election for our held-for-sale loans during the third quarter of 2009.

Total noninterest expense decreased 1% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was primarily driven by lower representation and warranty expense, a decrease in compensation and benefits expense related to lower headcount, and a decrease in professional services expense.

2009 Compared to 2008

Our Origination and Servicing operations earned income before income tax expense of $39 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $462 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. Results in 2009 were impacted by unfavorable mortgage servicing valuations, net of hedge, partially offset by improved margins on conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans sales, a slower pace of decline in the home prices, and lower interest expense related to a declining interest rate environment.

Net financing loss was $58 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $149 million in 2008. Interest expense declined at a faster rate than financing revenue and other interest income reflecting the favorable cost of funding impacts resulting from a declining interest rate environment and reduced reliance on higher rate unsecured debt. Partially offsetting the favorability was a decrease in interest income related to a lower LIBOR rate on interest-bearing cash balances and a decrease in trading securities interest income due to the runoff of trading positions in early 2009.

Net servicing income was $209 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $1.2 billion in 2008. The decrease was due to unfavorable mortgage servicing valuations reflecting reduced cash flows and increased prepayment assumptions resulting from lower market mortgage interest rates as compared to favorable 2008 valuations due to decreasing prepayment trends in 2008. Additionally, we recognized unfavorable hedge performance due to changes in the spreads between our servicing assets and the derivatives used to manage our interest rate risk. Our ability to fully hedge interest rate risk and volatility was restricted during the latter half of 2008 and early 2009 by the limited availability of willing counterparties to enter into forward agreements and liquidity constraints hindering our ability to take positions in the option markets. Servicing fees also declined as a result of portfolio runoff and the sales of certain servicing assets during the second half of 2008.

Gain on mortgage loans, net, was $708 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $324 million in 2008. In 2009, we recognized improved margins due to shifts in our product mix to conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loan securitizations guaranteed by the GSEs. Contributing to the increase was higher commitment volume due to increased market size as a result of lower mortgage rates.

Other income, net of losses, was $146 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to a loss of $222 million in 2008. The increase in income was primarily due to lower losses on the sale of servicing advances and higher mortgage processing fees due to higher production and loan fees as a result of a change in product mix.

Total noninterest expense increased 40% during the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The increase resulted primarily from higher corporate overhead allocations related to a change in the allocation methodology and the build-out of new corporate functions, an increase in representation and warranty expense, and higher compensation and benefits expense due to the elimination of our loan origination deferral upon election of the fair value option for our held-for-sale loans during the third quarter of 2009. The increase was partially offset by lower advertising expense due to cost reduction initiatives.

 

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Legacy Portfolio and Other Operations

Results of Operations

The following table summarizes the operating results for our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations excluding discontinued operations for the periods shown. Our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations primarily consists of loans originated prior to January 1, 2009, and includes noncore business activities, portfolios in runoff, and cash held in the ResCap legal entity. These activities include, among other things: lending to real estate developers and homebuilders in the United States and United Kingdom; purchasing, selling and securitizing nonconforming residential mortgage loans (with the exception of U.S. prime jumbo mortgage loans) in both the United States and internationally; certain conforming origination channels closed in 2008; and our mortgage reinsurance business.

 

Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)   2010     2009     2008    

Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2010-2009

% change

   

Favorable/
(unfavorable)
2009-2008

% change

 

Net financing revenue

         

Total financing revenue and other interest income

  $ 1,332      $ 1,559      $ 2,538        (15     (39

Interest expense

    727        933        2,028        22        54   
       

Net financing revenue

    605        626        510        (3     23   

Servicing fees

    (8     (10     (4     20        (150

Servicing asset valuation and hedge activities, net

           9        14        (100     (36
       

Total servicing income, net

    (8     (1     10        n/m        (110

Gain (loss) on mortgage loans, net

    380        (40     (609     n/m        93   

Gain on extinguishment of debt

           4        1,875        (100     (100

Other income, net of losses

    (112     (648     (1,108     83        42   
       

Total other revenue (expense)

    260        (685     168        138        n/m   

Total net revenue (expense)

    865        (59     678        n/m        (109

Provision for loan losses

    173        4,231        1,682        96        (152

Noninterest expense

         

Compensation and benefits expense

    73        112        634        35        82   

Representation and warranty expense

    692        1,453        242        52        n/m   

Other operating expenses

    181        449        1,190        60        62   
       

Total noninterest expense

    946        2,014        2,066        53        3   

Loss from continuing operations before income tax expense

  $ (254   $ (6,304   $ (3,070     96        (105
       

Total assets

  $ 12,308      $ 18,884      $ 32,893        (35     (43
   

n/m = not meaningful

2010 Compared to 2009

Our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations incurred a loss from continuing operations before income tax expense of $254 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $6.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009. The 2010 results from continuing operations were primarily driven by the stabilization of our loan portfolio resulting in a decrease in provision for loan losses, lower representation and warranty expense, and gains on the sale of domestic legacy assets.

Net financing revenue was $605 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $626 million in 2009. The decrease was driven by lower financing revenue and other interest income due primarily to a decline in average asset levels due to loan sales, on-balance deconsolidations, and portfolio runoff. The decrease was partially offset by lower interest expense related to a reduction in average borrowings commensurate with a smaller asset base.

The net gain on mortgage loans was $380 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to a loss of $40 million in 2009. The increase was primarily due to higher gains on loan sales in 2010 compared to 2009, higher gains on

 

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Table of Contents

Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

loan resolutions in 2010, and the recognition of a gain on the deconsolidation of an on-balance sheet securitization. Refer to Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the deconsolidation.

Other income, net of losses, was a loss of $112 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to a loss of $648 million in 2009. The improvement from 2009 was primarily related to the recognition of gains on the sale of foreclosed real estate in 2010 compared to losses and impairments in 2009 and impairments and higher losses on trading securities in 2009. Additionally, during the year ended December 31, 2009, we recognized significant impairments on equity investments, lot option projects, and model homes.

The provision for loan losses was $173 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $4.2 billion in 2009. The provision decreased $4.1 billion due to the improved asset mix as a result of the strategic actions taken during the fourth quarter of 2009 to write down and reclassify certain legacy mortgage loans from held-for-investment to held-for-sale. Additionally, the higher provision in 2009 was driven by significant increases in delinquencies and severity in our domestic mortgage loan portfolio and higher reserves were recognized against our commercial real estate-lending portfolio.

Total noninterest expense decreased 53% for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to 2009. The decrease was driven by lower representation and warranty expense related to an increase in reserve in 2009 related to higher repurchase demands and loss severity. The decrease was also impacted by a decrease in compensation and benefits expense related to lower headcount and a decrease in professional services expense related to cost reduction efforts. During 2009, our captive reinsurance portfolio experienced deterioration due to higher delinquencies, which drove higher insurance reserves. The decrease in 2010 was partially offset by unfavorable foreign-currency movements on hedge positions.

2009 Compared to 2008

Our Legacy Portfolio and Other operations incurred a net loss from continuing operations before income tax expense of $6.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $3.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008. The 2009 results from continuing operations were driven by our strategic actions taken in the fourth quarter of 2009 to sell certain legacy mortgage assets resulting in the reclassification of these loans from held-for-investment to held-for-sale. These actions resulted in provision for loan losses of $2.0 billion. Refer to Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information. Results were also adversely impacted by an increase in mortgage representation and warranty reserve expense of $1.2 billion related to higher repurchase demand requests and loss severity.

Net financing revenue increased 23% for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. Interest expense decreased significantly due to a reduction in average borrowings in association with a smaller asset base and through ResCap debt extinguishments. Interest expense declined at a faster rate than financing revenue and other interest income reflecting the favorable cost of funding impacts resulting from a declining interest rate environment and reduced reliance on higher-rate unsecured debt. Our total financing revenue and other interest income decreased significantly in comparison to 2008 due to a decline in legacy mortgage asset levels resulting from asset sales and portfolio runoff. Additionally, we earned lower yields as a result of higher delinquencies, increases in nonaccrual loan levels, and the impact of lower rates on adjustable-rate mortgage loans.

Gain on mortgage loans, net, was a loss of $40 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to a loss of $609 million in 2008. Results in 2008 were significantly impacted by realized losses related to legacy mortgage asset sales and valuation losses on certain held-for-sale assets.

Gain on extinguishment of debt was $4 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $1.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008. The debt extinguishment gains in 2008 included $1.1 billion following our contribution to ResCap of ResCap notes obtained through open-market repurchase (OMR) transactions or debt tender and exchange offerings and $757 million related to the private debt exchange and cash tender offers completed during the fourth quarter of 2008. Refer to Critical Accounting Estimates section in this MD&A for further discussion related to the private debt exchange and cash tender offers.

Other income, net of losses, was a loss of $648 million for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to a loss of $1.1 billion in 2008. The decrease in the loss was driven by lower losses on the sale of foreclosed real estate due to lower

 

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Table of Contents

Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

volume and severity, the recognition of a $255 million impairment on the resort finance business in 2008, lower impairments on lot option projects and model homes, and lower losses on residual interests due to the write-down of home equity residuals in 2008. The 2009 results were adversely impacted by a $220 million impairment of our equity investments and lower real estate brokerage fee income due to the 2008 sale of our brokerage and relocation services business.

The provision for loan losses was $4.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to $1.7 billion in 2008. The increase in provision expense was primarily related to our strategic actions in the fourth quarter of 2009 as a result of the decision to sell certain legacy mortgage assets resulting in the reclassification of these assets from held-for-investment to held-for-sale. These actions resulted in negative valuation adjustments of $2.0 billion. Additionally, we recognized higher provision expenses on the Ally Bank held-for-investment portfolio due to higher delinquencies and loss severities as well as regulatory input. The increase was partially offset by lower provision for loan losses as a result of lower mortgage loan and lending receivables balances in 2009 compared to 2008.

Total noninterest expense decreased 3% during the year ended December 31, 2009, compared to 2008. The decrease was driven primarily by a decrease in compensation and benefits expense primarily due to lower headcount associated with our restructuring efforts, favorable foreign-currency movements, a reduction in professional fees primarily due to advisory and legal fees related to ResCap’s debt restructuring in 2008, and lower severance and other restructuring charges. The decrease was offset significantly by higher representation and warranty reserve expense due to higher repurchase demand requests and loss severity and higher expenses as a result of higher corporate overhead allocations related to a change in allocation methodology and the build-out of new corporate functions.

Loan Production

U.S. Mortgage Loan Production Channels

We have two primary channels for residential mortgage loan production: the origination of loans through our direct-lending network and the purchase of loans in the secondary market (primarily from Ally Bank correspondent lenders).

 

   

Correspondent lender and secondary market purchases — Loans purchased from correspondent lenders are originated or purchased by the correspondent lenders and subsequently sold to us. All of the purchases from correspondent lenders are conducted through Ally Bank. We qualify and approve any correspondent lenders who participate in the loan purchase programs.

 

   

Direct-lending network — Our direct-lending network consists of internet (including through the ditech.com brand) and telephone-based call center operations as well as our virtual retail network. During 2009 and 2010, virtually all of the residential mortgage loans of this channel are brokered to Ally Bank.

The following table summarizes domestic consumer mortgage loan production by channel for our Origination and Servicing operations.

 

     2010      2009      2008  
Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
     No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
     No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
 

Correspondent lender and secondary market purchases

     263,963       $ 61,465         260,772       $ 56,042         166,885       $ 35,579   

Direct lending

     36,064         7,586         42,190         8,524         35,044         6,249   

Mortgage brokers

     2,035         491         607         165         1,200         292   
   

Total U.S. production

     302,062       $ 69,542         303,569       $ 64,731         203,129       $ 42,120   
   

 

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Table of Contents

Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

The following table summarizes the composition of our domestic consumer mortgage loan production for our Origination and Servicing operations.

 

     2010      2009      2008  
Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
     No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
     No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
 

Ally Bank

     300,738       $ 69,320         299,302       $ 64,001         163,868       $ 34,980   

ResCap

     1,324         222         4,267         730         39,261         7,140   
   

Total U.S. production

     302,062       $ 69,542         303,569       $ 64,731         203,129       $ 42,120   
   

Mortgage Loan Production by Type

Consistent with our focus on GSE loan products, we primarily originate prime conforming and government-insured residential mortgage loans. In addition, we originate and purchase high-quality nonconforming jumbo loans, mostly from correspondent lenders, for the Ally Bank held-for-investment portfolio. Our mortgage loans are categorized as follows.

 

   

Prime conforming mortgage loans — Prime credit quality first-lien mortgage loans secured by single-family residences that meet or conform to the underwriting standards established by the GSEs for inclusion in their guaranteed mortgage securities programs.

 

   

Prime nonconforming mortgage loans — Prime credit quality first-lien mortgage loans secured by single-family residences that either (1) do not conform to the underwriting standards established by the GSEs because they had original principal amounts exceeding GSE limits, which are commonly referred to as jumbo mortgage loans, or (2) have alternative documentation requirements and property or credit-related features (e.g., higher loan-to-value or debt-to-income ratios) but are otherwise considered prime credit quality due to other compensating factors.

 

   

Prime second-lien mortgage loans — Open- and closed-end mortgage loans secured by a second or more junior-lien on single-family residences, which include home equity mortgage loans and lines of credit.

 

   

Government mortgage loans — First-lien mortgage loans secured by single-family residences that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (VA).

 

   

Nonprime mortgage loans — First-lien and certain junior-lien mortgage loans secured by single-family residences made to individuals with credit profiles that do not qualify for a prime loan, have credit-related features that fall outside the parameters of traditional prime mortgage products, or have performance characteristics that otherwise exposes us to comparatively higher risk of loss. Nonprime includes mortgage loans the industry characterizes as “subprime,” as well as high combined loan-to-value second-lien loans that fell out of our standard loan programs due to noncompliance with one or more criteria.

 

   

International loans — Consumer mortgage loans originated in Canada and Mexico.

 

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Table of Contents

Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Ally Financial Inc. Ÿ Form 10-K

 

The following table summarizes consumer mortgage loan production by type for our Origination and Servicing operations.

 

     2010      2009      2008  
Year ended December 31, ($ in millions)    No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
     No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
     No. of loans      Dollar
amount of
loans
 

Prime conforming

     228,936       $ 53,721         164,780       $ 37,651         134,853       $ 29,711   

Prime nonconforming

     1,837         1,548         1,236         992         3,245         1,425   

Prime second-lien

                     3         1         6,335         478   

Government

     71,289         14,273         137,550         26,087         58,696         10,506   

Nonprime

                                               
   

Total U.S. production

     302,062         69,542         303,569         64,731         203,129         42,120   

International production (a)

     7,674         1,501         7,955         1,362         10,879         2,038   
   

Total production

     309,736       $ 71,043         311,524       $ 66,093         214,008       $ 44,158   
   

 

(a) International mortgage loan production represents high-quality government-insured residential mortgages in Canada.

U.S. Warehouse Lending

We are a provider of warehouse-lending facilities to correspondent lenders and other mortgage originators in the United States. These facilities enable lenders and originators to finance residential mortgage loans until they are sold in the secondary mortgage loan market. We provide warehouse-lending facilities principally for prime conforming and government mortgage loans. We have continued to refine our warehouse-lending portfolio, offering such lending only to current Ally Bank correspondent clients. Advances under warehouse-lending facilities are collateralized by the underlying mortgage loans and bear interest at variable rates. At December 31, 2010, we had total warehouse line of credit commitments of $2.9 billion, against which we had $1.5 billion of advances outstanding. We also have $42 million of warehouse-lending receivables outstanding related to other offerings at December 31, 2010. We purchased approximately 44% of the mortgage loans financed by our warehouse-lending facilities in 2010.

Loans Outstanding

Consumer mortgage loans held-for-sale for our Origination and Servicing operations were as follows.

 

December 31, ($ in millions)    2010     2009  

Prime conforming

   $ 5,585      $ 3,455   

Prime nonconforming

            1   

Prime second-lien

              

Government (a)

     3,434        3,878   

Nonprime

              

International

     351        49   
   

Total

     9,370        7,383   

Net discounts

     135        88   

Fair value option election adjustment

     (61     23   

Lower-of-cost or fair value adjustment

     (2     (6