Skip to content

Get Judicial Watch Updates!


Judicial Watch • HVCC FOIA w Exh



Page 1: HVCC FOIA w Exh


Number of Pages:20

Date Created:June 4, 2012

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014

Tags:HVCC, Exh, FOIA

File Scanned for Malware

Donate now to keep these documents public!

See Generated Text   ∨

Autogenerated text from PDF


Because one aboue the la,w! 
June 2012 

FOIA Chief Jeanne McLaughlin Federal Reserve System 

ChiefFOIA Officer David Lee 20th Constitution Aves., N.W. Federal Housing Finance Agency Washington, 20551 1700 SL, N.W., 4LhFl. 
Washington, D.C. 20552 Chief FOIA Officer Frank Vance 
Ofc the Comptroller the Currency FOIA Chief Delores Cole 250 St., S.W. Dep't Housing Urban Development Washington, 20219 451 Seventh St., S.W., Rm. 10139 Washington, D.C. 20410-3000 FOIA Chief Michael McKenna 
NCUA FOIA Service Center 

FOIA Manager Martin Michalosky 1775 Duke Street Disclosure Services Alexandria, 22314 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 1700 St., N.W. Chief Quality Officer Washington, D.C. 20552 U.S. Govenunent Accountability Office 
Room 6Kl7Q 441 Street Washington, 205480 

Re: FOIA Records Re: Home Valuation Code Conduct 
Dear Mmes. Cole McLaughlin; Messrs. Lee, Michalosky, Vance, and McKenna: letter dated May 19) 2010, Edward DeMarco wrote Andrew Cuomo regarding the implementation the Home Valuation Code Conduct (HVCC) arising out reforms the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac. that letter, DeMarco asserted that the HVCC had been "implemented after taking extensive public comments." further stated that "[s]ignificant aspects the code have been adopted the Federal Housing Administration." According the National Association oflndependent Housing Professionals (NAHJP), the commentary upon which the federal govenunent relied adopting the rules under which NAIHP labors were never made public direct violation the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)) U.S.C.  551, seq. 
Hence, pmsuant the Freedom lnfonnation Act (FOIA), U.S.C.  552, 
425 Third St., SW, Suite 800, Washington, 20024 Tel: (202) 646-5172 1-888-593-8442 PAX: (202) 646-5199 Email: 
OCC/OTS/NCUA/GAO .June 2012 

Judicial Watch, Inc., (Judicial Watch) hereby requests that each the agencies which this FOIA addressed above produce the following records within twenty (20) business days: All comments submitted any non-government entity respecting HVCC; All documentation indicating the extent and manner which TlVCC has been adopted the federal government; conununications respecting any input regarding HVCC offered by: The Federal Reserve Board (The Fed); The Office the Comptroller the Currency (OCC); 
The Office Thrift Supervision (OTS, now merged with OCC); The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); and, 
The Government Accountability Office (GAO). 
The time frame for this request September 2008 through the present. placing this request, Judicial Watch directs your attention President Barack Obama's January 21, 2009 Memorandum concerning the Freedom oflnformation Act which states: 
All agencies should adopt presumption favor disclosure, order renew their commitment the principles embodied FOIA ... The presumption disclosure should applied all decisions involving FOIA. 
Preedom oflnfo1mation Act. Pres. Mem. January 21, 2009, Fed. Reg. 4683. 
The memo fwther provides that "The Preedom oflnformation Act should administered with clear presumption: the case doubt, openness prevails." 
Neve1theless, any responsive record portion thereof claimed exempt from production under FOIA, please provide sufficient identifying information with respect each allegedly exempt record portion thereof allow assess the propriety the claimed exemption. Vaughn Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1974). addition, any reasonably segregable portion 

responsive reord must provided, after redaction any aJlegedly exempt material. 
u.s.c.  552(b). 

Judicial Watch also hereby requests waiver both search and duplication fees pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II) and (a)(4)(A)(iii). Judicial Watch entitled waiver search fees under U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(ll) because member the news media. e,y. National Security Archive Department Defense, 880 F.2d 1381, 
June 2012 

1387 (D.C. Cir. 1989)(defining news media within FOlA context). Judicial Watch has also been recognized member the news media other FOIA litigation. See, e.g., Judicial Watch. Inc. U.S. Department Justice, 133 Supp.2d (D.D.C. 2000); and, Judicial Watch, Inc. Department Defense, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44003, 
(D.D.C. June 28, 2006). Judicial Watch regularly obtains information about the operations and activities government through FOIA and other means: uses its editorial skills turn this information into distinct works, and publishes and disseminates these works the public. intends likewise with the records receives response this request. 
Judicial Watch also entitled complete waiver both search fees and duplication fees pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(A)(iii). Under this provision, records: 
shall furnished without any charge charge reduced below the fees established under clause (ii) disclosure the information the public interest because likely contribute significantly public understanding the operations activities government and not primarily the commercial interest the requester. U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(A)(iii). addition, records are not produced within twenty (20) business days: Judicial Watch entitled complete waiver search and duplication fees under Section 6(b) the OPEN Govenunent Act of2007, which amended FOlA U.S.C.  552 (a)(4)(A)(viii). 
Judicial Watch 50l(c)(3), not-for-profit, educational organization, and, definition, has commercial pw-pose. Judicial Watch exists educate the public about the operations and activities government, well increase public understanding about the importance ethics and the rule law government. The particular records requested herein are sought part Judicial Watch's ongoing efforts document the operations and activities the federal government and educate the public about these operations and activities. Once Judicial Watch obtains the requested records, intends analyze them and disseminate the rcsuJts its analysis, well the records themselves, special written report. Judicial Watch will also educate the public via radio programs, Judicial Watch's website, and/or newsletter, among other outlets. also will make the records available other members the media researchers upon request. Judicial Watch has proven ability disseminate infonnation obtained through FOIA the public, demonstrated its long-standing and continuing public outreach efforts. 

f-IVCC paramount public interest because arose from 18-month agreement between fo1mer New York Attorney General Cuomo, the GSEs, and their regulator response investigation into the inflation home values the nation's largest banks.1 Despite the limited nature the problem, the solution has apparently been expanded encompass the entire marketplace (except the very GSEs whom the fix was originally directed) without providing those who stand affected the minimum due process required law. Id. Due process, minimum, requires adequate notice and opporttmity respond. Gray Panthers Schweiker, 652 F.2d 146 (D.C. Cir. 1980)(citing Mathews rJdridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976)). So, the extent that the federal government adopted widespread rule such HVCC without adhering the statutory minimum outlined the Administrative Procedure Act timely notifying the public impending change and offering ample opportunity contribute ctitical information the decision-making process, then the public has right know. See, e.g., Catholic Health Initiatives Sebelius, 617 F.3d 490 (D.C. Cir. 201 O)(agcncy manual exceeding statutory specifics suject notice and comment via Federal Register). 
Moreover, while agency not obligated adopt rule that conforms perfectly public opinion, certainly has duty explain with particularity and specificity how and why has substantially departed from the general consensus topic, lest the ultimate decision discarded arbitrary capricious. See, e.g., Nat'/ Treas. Emps. Union Newman, 768 Supp. (D.D.C. 199l)("thc letter and the spirit the APA ... demands 'openness, explanation, and participatory democracy"')(quoting Weyerhauser Co. Costle, 590 F.2d 1101, 1027 (D.C. Cir. 1978)). Lastly, the agency has duty not only explain its dismissal contrary evidence, but also any substantial depaitures from the agency's prior position the subject. Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass'n the United States State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., 463 U.S. (1983)("agcncy's view what the public interest may change, either with without change circumstances. But agency changing its course must supply reasoned analysis"). Without access the documents Judicial Watch here requests, the blanket imposition HVCC will not get proper airing and the federal government's handling due process cannot fairly evaluated. 
Given these circumstances, Judicial Watch entitled public interest fee waiver both search costs and duplication costs. Nonetheless, the event our request for waiver search and/or duplication costs denied, Judicial Watch willing pay $350.00 search and/or duplication costs. Judicial Watch requests that contacted before any such costs are incurred, order prioritize search and duplication efforts. effort facilitate record production within the statutory time limit, Judicial 

Watch willing accept documents electronic format (e.g. e-mail, .pdfs). When necessary, Judicial Watch will also accept the "rolling production" documents. Judicial Watch anticipates prompt receipt all responsive documents within the statutory time frame cost itself. that end, your timely compliance with all applicable laws is. appreciated. 

Lisette Garcia, J.D. 
Senior Investigator Nattonal ssoc1at1on Independent Housing 

601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW South Building, Suite 900 Washington, 20004 
April 11, 2012 
Hon. Richard Cordray Director 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 1801 Street N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20036 

Re: Appraiser Independence Regulations 
Dear Director Cordray: 

Thank you for the time meet with NAIH January 26, 2012. Iways reel ate the opportunity meet with the CFPB and discuss Issues concern that affect consumers and small business housing professionals. 
Although, our meeting covered broad range Issues, comments today are limited the 
ongoing problems associated with "Appraiser Independence." 
Today's Interim Rule Appraiser Independence, was built the flawed foundation the 
former Home Valuation Code Conduct (HVCC). you are aware HVCC was month 
agreement between former N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Office Federal 
Housing Enterprise Oversl1ht (now the Federal Housing Finance Agency), and the GSEs. 
Attached you wlll find outline exposing the unintended consequences created HVCC and Interim Rule. 

Lastly, NAIH and the undersigned small ness housing trad.e and bersh orga nlzatlons strongly support the attached solutions cure the unintended consequences Appraiser Independence regulations. Furthermore, recognize the CFPB inherited this rule, but urge you adopt these Main Street solutions, which will restore real consumer protection and true appraiser independence. 

Mire Savltt, President 

Phone: 202.587.9300  E-mail:  Website: www.nalbporg

National Association Independent Housing Professionals American Guild ofAppraisers-Guild #44 OPEIU-Afl/CIO 
llllnols Association Mortgage Professionals North Carolina Association Mortgase Professionals 
New Jersey Association Professional Mortgase Originators Ohio Coalition Appraisal Professionals 
Callfornla Coalition Appraisal Professionals 
New Jersey Chapter the American Guild Appraisers 
Oklahoma Professional Appraisers Coalition 
Coalltlon Arizona Appraisers 

Washington Association Mortgaae Professionals 
Real Estate Appraisers Association (REAA) Callfornla 
Virginia Coalition Appraisal Professionals 
Charlotte (NC) Regional Mortgage Lenders Association 
Nevada Association Mortgage Professionals 
Nebraska Association Mortgase Brokers 
Arizona Association Mortgage Professionals 
Missouri Association Mortsase Professionals 
Vermont Coalltlon Appraisers 
Utah Coalition Appraisers 
See below ... 

Appraiser Independence? 

The Home Valuation Code Conduct (HVCC) was agreement between the N.V. Attorney General, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their regulator. 
HVCC was born from investigation federally chartered bank and unregulated appraisal management company. The Investigation revealed conflicts Interest and the influencing appraisers fraudulently Inflate the value real estate. 
The following paragraph exact quote from former N.V. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's own website: 
"In 2007 Cuomo also announced Investigation Into widespread appraisal fraud within the 

investigations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the 'argest purchasers home loans, agreed abide new appraisal guidelines defined the Attorney Ge.neral and fund Independent Valuation Protection Institute Implement and monitor those guidelines." March 2008, the original (proposed) HVCC agreement prohibited banks and lenders from having more than 20% interest appraisal management companies (AMC). Moreover, 
mortgage brokers were prohibited from ordering having any contact with the appraisal 
process. When the final version HVCC was released December 2008, the banks 20% 
ownership cap was removed, allowing banks and lenders own unUmlted percentage 
Interest AMCs. 

After five meetings with Mr. Cuomo's staff, NAIHP was informed the revlslons were made the Insistence the GSE's regulator. NAIHP questions why Mr. Cuomo would allow the banks and lenders continue with the exact same model that first caused hm Initiate hls Investigation. The very banks and AMCs from his Investigation were now control the residential valuation system this country. Despite the fact mortgage brokers were NOT the subject his Investigation, the December 2008 final agreement required their removal from the appraisal process. 
Since HVCC went Into effect May 2009, consumers have Incurred substantlal additional 
expenses when purchasing refinancing residential properties. conservatively estimated 
those costs exceed 2.8 Billion dollars year. This estimate based higher appraisal costs 

valuation 2008. the 

The agreement between the N.Y. Attorney General and the GSEs has sunset. However, the exact same provisions within HVCC are now embedded the GSE guidelines and the Interim Rule written the Federal Reserve Board. addition valuation fraud Increasing alarming rates, appraiser Independence (AP) has also caused thousands appraisers out business. local small business appraisers have lost their independence unregulated AMCs. Appraisers can longer set their fees. Fees are dictated the AMCs and often end between 40%-60% less than what customary and reasonable for speclflc geographic area. Sometimes, appraisal assignments are put for bid. Important understand consumer costs have not been reduced along with appraiser compensation. fact, the cost appraisal has Increased average $200.00. The increase, along with the "haircut" taken appraisers, has gone Into the pockets AMCs and their partners1 the big banks. 
The long term outlook for the appralsal Industry even worse. Because appraiser compensation has been drastically reduced; they can longer afford hire apprentice. apprentice needs minimum 2000 hours working under licensed appraiser before they can licensed. The average age appraiser 56, which means within 8-10 years the appraisal Industry wilt fraction what today. 
Under the current system hiring the least expensive appraiser, Including those unfamiliar 
wlth subject property's geographic area, quality and accuracy are often 

Many have long believed HVCC was nothing more than "Plea Bargain" llke agreement 
between Andrew Cuomo and the GSEs, with the blessings the Banks. reality, the 
agreement doesn't make sense. Why would Mr. Cuomo and the GSE's allow their solution 
the conflicts interest, the exact same conflicts Interest that created the fraud? the spring 2008, the GSEs held public comment period. NAIHP aware tens thousands comment letters were received the GSE's, their regulator and Mr. Cuomo. However> the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has refused release any the comments. NAIHP filed FOIA request and made l.G. complaint. Both are stalling with respect assisting the production these comments. the spring 2010, Acting FHFA Director Edward DeMarco wrote Andrew Cuomo and

acknowledged use 1extenslve marketplace comments the deployment and 
implementation HVCC. Although1 Mr. DeMarco has acknowledged the importance these 
comments, refuses release them. This cover only supports NAIHP's contention that 
 HVCC was sham, designed protect the GSEs and increase revenue the big banks. Only one comment letter escaped the FHFA cover up. June 10, 2008, four regulators sent 
joint comment letter (see attached) the FHFA. They warned the agency the unintended 
consequences HVCC, Including the effect consumers. 
Also major significance was Andrew Cuomo's position with unregulated AMC, prior becoming N.Y. Attorney General. Mr. Cuomo was member the Board Directors and Chairman the Board Advisors for company known AMCO. During his tenure (2005), with AMCO, Cuomo approached the GSEs with suggestion implementing HVCC style rules all GSE loans. The GSEs rejected the suggestion. Had Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac fact implemented the proposed guidelines, Cuomo's employer (AMCO), stood substantially increase their revenue. 
NAIHP has long warned regulators problems associated with appraisal management 
companies. Besides evidence that these unregulated entities are overcharging consumers, 
accepting unearned fees, splitting fees with joint venture partners and failing disclose 
affiliated business arrangements1 some AMCs now appear engaged tax evasion. 

Many AMCs are only registered conduct business handful states. This itself violation state laws, but also highlights the fact these same AMCs are flying under the radar state tax departments. order receive state tax identification number, business must registered with the Secretary State. just one example, found national AMC was registered only states. complete lack oversight allows these AMCs overcharge 

Substantial evidence exists, which indicates AMC practices promote further deterioration real estate values. This due part hiring appraisers with little knowledge ofthe subject market area. 
NAIHP acknowledges neither HVCC nor Appraiser Independence rules require the use AMCs. However, because most banks and lenders participate joint venture relatlonships with AMCs, not own them outright, third party originators wishing conduct business with these lenders 
are required use their AMCs. 

Solutions the unintended consequences Appraiser Independence Regulatlons: 	
Absolute prohibition AMC joint ventures, shared ownership interest with any real estate financial institution, includins their owners, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, relatives thereof. 	
Any mortgage broker loan origination under the guidelines the SAFE Act and registered with the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), shall permitted order residential real estate appraisal directly from local market licensed appraiser. 	
All parties any residential real estate transaction shall required sign (CFPB approved) certification form. This form shall act advisory the prohibition influencing any licensed appraiser for any reaso" and the penalties for said violations. 	
Reinstate the language the DoddAFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits fees paid AMCs tne determining factor setting Customary and Reasonable fees for residential appraisals. 

The GAO warned their report, allowing dictate fees charged consumers 
for appraisals, while the same time retaining 40-60% those fees, would threaten 
the quality the appralsal report. Allowing free market conditions determine Customary and Reasonable appraisal fees will beneflt consumers creating safety and soundness within the appraisal process. 


Olllce of*e Comptroller aldae C.l'nllcy Board Gtnrm1on die J'edcral ReMrft Syttem omce ornrta Spenidom Natioul Credit UiOll Admialltntioa June 19, 2008 Mr. James LoUbart, .Director Office Federal Hollliq Enterprise Ovenight 1700 S1reet, N.W. Wuhmaton, D.C. 20S52 Dar DiRctor Lockhart: The Federal R.merve Board ("Bomd1'), the Oftioe the CompUollcr the Cwrency ('4QCCi> the Office Thrift Supervision roTS"), and the National Credit Union Administration (collectively. the "Apncies") appteciate the opportunity convey OlD' onc:ems about the Home Valuation Protection Program and Cooperation Agreements ("Agreements") between your agency. the New York State Attorney General, and the Federal National MOl".lPle Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortaaae Corporation (collectively, the "GSBs'j.1 The Agreements require mortpge leaden, including fedenlly regulated finanml institutioDI and organizations ("federally" regulated lcndm"), seeking sell single-family mortgage loam the GSE1 adopt the Home Valuation Code Conduct ("Code} attached 1he Agreemc::nts llDd com.ply with certain pnetices imposed the Code. strongly support 1bc goals protecting appiai8Cl5 from coercion other W1due infJuence le.ndm. borrow=1, broken, othen involved the mortgage lendillg and securitiution process. Appraiser independence and reliable real estate collateral for loens the primary and secondary residential mortgage mmets are necessary part the foundation protect lenden making safe and sound residential mortpe cmlit dcciliODJ. consumers their borrowinadecisiom, and investm their decisions purclwc mortgapbaclced sccmities. We 11e very eoncerncd, howeva-, ibet the requirema.ts imposed the Agreemeotl end Code would unnecessarily undermine 1hl and llOUl1d extension ofmortaase credit, reduce the availability monpge credit many consumers, and ultimucly lead leas reliability and 8CCW'ICY estate apprail.als. Moreover. issues regarding appraiser independence and protection from coercion are alrady adcqua1dy addressed current and pending n1les and guidance ofthe Aaencies. additioD, believe that insufficiem information been collected and inadequate analysis has been pmonned permit wnfidence that the The OCC and the OTS have previously submitted separate commcnt lot1cn conuming the legal and poll issun praamd the Agreemenu and 1he Code. See letter datr.d April 30. 2008) from Timothy Ward. Deputy Dircctot, OTS, Senior Vice Praidcnt, C!edit Risk Oversisht, Freddie Mlci and leuor dated May 27, 2001, from John Dupn. Comptroller tbe Currency. James Lock.ban. Director. OFHEO. quality 
controls nectaaty ensure the accuracy and quality oftppr8ials used-in lending decisions and, thereby. ptotect1he safety and soundness such institutions and organi7.ations. For example, tlie Code overly restricts lenders from ordering using second subsequent 

appraiaaJ ensuze the reliability the collateral valuation. Such appraisals important 
quality control tool for tenders. particuWly whenmm:bts are twnins and public data updaits are 
delayed. recently demODSlrated various declini11g markets. 

The ApncJeshave significant concerm that complianc.e wilh overly reltrictive 
requirements the Code will materially disrupt moe lending processes and raise costa 
oonsulnm without enbancioa protections for consumen, lenders. the mortpp mmbts. 
Implementation the Code will result hipr loan origination costs for federally regulated 
kndm and other mortgage lendm and thereby i.ncieue ciosts consumers. For example. the 

Code's unwarnndrelfriction lender using any appraisal performed in-houae 
appraiser ordered broker will likely result loan application processing ddayl and 
mtuin the consmner frequently pay for multiple appraisals for loan. Higher ooltl and 
disruptions mortpae lanctina processes also will iesut from the Code's rellrictions using 
appraisals from  management companle1 that aze affiliates lenders that provide 
both appraisal and settlcment-telated services for institutions. The unwarran1ed loss oftbe 
lipificant diclcncles thole c;ompmios prvvide mortgage Jemcn that provide loans 
CODSUmcn wbete the lender has few, any, loan underwriting offices, and particularly small 
financial institutions, likely result loan processina delays, hishcr costs fot coDsumen. and 
reductions the availability mortgage credit many area. believe that the Code' 
dracom:U approach S1Crifices quality, efficiency aocl cost for result that would not mawially protcctom apimt undue influcn.ce appreism. 
The Agencies have illucd and popose4 appraisal regula1iom and mpervisory 
guidance, applicable fcdmally regulated lenders, that promote sound appraill1 practices; 
require ]enders originate, purchaae, and sell mortgage loam baaed reliable apprlisals: and 
protect appraised from inappropiate inflc: loan production staft borrowen, other third 

Code will appropriately 1he issue patebtia1 coercion and other undue iniluence appraisers without causing other sipificantly adverse, unintended consequences. believe, therefore,that the Agreements and Code should withdrawn. not witbdnwn, the Agreements and Code should rrnscd exempt federally regulated lenden, and the imple.mentation the Apeements and Code should deferred l.llltil the significantly advcnc consequences are prevented and the other malmi legal and policy coocems expressed 1his letter and o1bers are satisfaceorily addreaed. 
The Code conflic1s in.atcrial W1YJ with the rules and guidance established the Agetleies and undermines appropriate risk-manageme:at and consumerprotection pnctius derally regulated lenders. The Code inappropriately attempts regulate the corporate SbUCture and intemal operations offederally regulated lenders onnection with their mortgage lendin operations. addition, the Code contravent.1 appropriate rislMnacagerM!lt practic.a regulated lendm banning the use ofappraisals prepared in-house 9ppraisers, appraiSCl'I employed affiliates, appraistrs entities that also provide loan 8ettlement services. The Code also himers the ability federally replated lcnden perform other types 

Rqllirement.s, and lenders are instructed review any brokcr-orde!ed appraisals tborouablY emun: that the appraisal complies with the Agencies regulaiiotts and guidance and the imtitution11 appraisal policies. federally reRU}ated lender muat demonstrate that its appmisal process complies with our requinments protect appraiser impartiality and independence, and requires quality, independent opiniom collatenl market value through appraisals that coofonn minimum 
Jtgulatory appraiaal standards, iol:luding the 

{USP AP). Appraisals also must prepared appropriately credentialed and competent appnisen protectedftom coercion. The Ra! estate apprailll and evaluation policies and procedures federally regulated entities are reviewed examiners and the Agencies require conective action when deficiencies are discovered. addition. the Board currently considering revilions its Regulation enhance further the protcetkm consumers from improperly influenced real atate appraisals.1 The Regulation proposal prohibits 111 creditors and mortgage broken from prasuriog appraismto mit dwelling value and prohibits all aediton troui ti.tendingcredit the creditor knows has n:uon know that apprailer been coerced misstate dwelli.og's value. The proposed me.ndmcmt RoauJation would cover all mortgage lendon (both federally and nonfedmlly regulated lenden) and would apply all oonsumer credit trwactiom secured the consumer's principal dwelliJll., whether the mortpge guaranteed the OS not 
The GSEs recently invited intmated persons submit their concem1 regarding the Agreements and Co