Trustees in ABS and MBS have adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in regard to their actions and responsibilities. That was the message put forth at the American Securitization Forum Sunset Seminar held last week discussing the "role of the trustee in securitizations." As a result, "if a specific action isn't included in a deal's documentation, don't expect it to get done," said Fitch Ratings managing director Kevin Duignan.

With roughly 100 audience members in attendance, panelists agreed that the root of the problem lies in what investors ask of trustees during a deal's inception. The phrase "The devil is in the details" was echoed by numerous panel members commenting on explicit description of duties versus implied responsibilities of the trustee.

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