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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms nine classes of WFRBS 2014-C20

20 Oct 2020

Approximately $837.6 million of structured securities affected

New York, October 20, 2020 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has affirmed the ratings on nine classes in WFRBS Commercial Mortgage Trust 2014-C20 ("WFRBS 2014-C20") as follows:

Cl. A-4, Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aaa (sf)

Cl. A-5, Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aaa (sf)

Cl. A-S, Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aaa (sf)

Cl. A-SB, Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aaa (sf)

Cl. A-SFL, Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aaa (sf)

Cl. A-SFX, Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aaa (sf)

Cl. B, Affirmed Aa3 (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aa3 (sf)

Cl. C, Affirmed A3 (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed A3 (sf)

Cl. X-A*, Affirmed Aaa (sf); previously on April 12, 2019 Affirmed Aaa (sf)

* Reflects interest-only classes

RATINGS RATIONALE

The ratings on the P&I classes were affirmed because the transaction's key metrics, including Moody's loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, Moody's stressed debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) and the transaction's Herfindahl Index (Herf), are within acceptable ranges.

The rating on the IO class was affirmed based on the credit quality of the referenced classes.

The coronavirus outbreak, the government measures put in place to contain it, and the weak global economic outlook continue to disrupt economies and credit markets across sectors and regions. Our analysis has considered the effect on the performance of commercial real estate from the current weak US economic activity and a gradual recovery for the coming months. Although an economic recovery is underway, it is tenuous and its continuation will be closely tied to containment of the virus. As a result, the degree of uncertainty around our forecasts is unusually high. Stress on commercial real estate properties will be most directly stemming from declines in hotel occupancies (particularly related to conference or other group attendance) and declines in foot traffic and sales for non-essential items at retail properties. We regard the coronavirus outbreak as a social risk under our ESG framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety.

Moody's rating action reflects a base expected loss of 9.2% of the current pooled balance, compared to 4.0% at Moody's last review. Moody's base expected loss plus realized losses is now 7.4% of the original pooled balance, compared to 3.4% at the last review. Moody's provides a current list of base expected losses for conduit and fusion CMBS transactions on moodys.com at http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBS_SF215255.

FACTORS THAT WOULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS:

The performance expectations for a given variable indicate Moody's forward-looking view of the likely range of performance over the medium term. Performance that falls outside the given range can indicate that the collateral's credit quality is stronger or weaker than Moody's had previously expected.

Factors that could lead to an upgrade of the ratings include a significant amount of loan paydowns or amortization, an increase in the pool's share of defeasance or an improvement in pool performance.

Factors that could lead to a downgrade of the ratings include a decline in the performance of the pool, loan concentration, an increase in realized and expected losses from specially serviced and troubled loans or interest shortfalls.

METHODOLOGY UNDERLYING THE RATING ACTION

The principal methodology used in rating all classes except interest-only classes was "Approach to Rating US and Canadian Conduit/Fusion CMBS" published in September 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBS_1244778. The methodologies used in rating interest-only classes were "Approach to Rating US and Canadian Conduit/Fusion CMBS" published in September 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBS_1244778 and "Moody's Approach to Rating Structured Finance Interest-Only (IO) Securities" published in February 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBS_1111179. Please see the list of ratings at the top of this announcement to identify which classes are interest-only (indicated by the *). Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

DEAL PERFORMANCE

As of the September 17, 2020 distribution date, the transaction's aggregate certificate balance has decreased by 19% to $1.01 billion from $1.25 billion at securitization. The certificates are collateralized by 85 mortgage loans ranging in size from less than 1% to 12.2% of the pool, with the top ten loans (excluding defeasance) constituting 52.4% of the pool. Nine loans, constituting 5% of the pool, have defeased and are secured by US government securities. The pool contains eleven low leverage cooperative loans, constituting 4.0% of the pool balance, that were too small to credit assess; however, have Moody's leverage that is consistent with other loans previously assigned an investment grade Structured Credit Assessments.

Moody's uses a variation of Herf to measure the diversity of loan sizes, where a higher number represents greater diversity. Loan concentration has an important bearing on potential rating volatility, including the risk of multiple notch downgrades under adverse circumstances. The credit neutral Herf score is 40. The pool has a Herf of 23, compared to 25 at Moody's last review.

As of the September 17, 2020 remittance report, loans representing 81% of the pool, by balance, were current on debt service payments, 2% were less than one-month delinquent, 5% were between 30 days and 59 days delinquent and 12% were more than 90 days delinquent on debt service payments.

Twenty-three loans, constituting 23.7% of the pool, are on the master servicer's watchlist. The watchlist includes loans that meet certain portfolio review guidelines established as part of the CRE Finance Council (CREFC) monthly reporting package. As part of Moody's ongoing monitoring of a transaction, the agency reviews the watchlist to assess which loans have material issues that could affect performance.

Two loans have been liquidated from the pool. Six loans, constituting 21.7% of the pool, are currently in special servicing. Four of the specially serviced loans, representing 20.9% of the pool, have transferred to special servicing since March 2020.

The largest specially serviced loan is the Woodbridge Center Loan ($123.1 million -- 12.2% of the pool), which represents a pari-passu portion of a $236.8 million senior mortgage loan. The loan is secured by a 1.1 million square foot (SF) component of a two-story, regional mall in Woodbridge, New Jersey. The loan is sponsored and the property is managed by Brookfield Properties. The mall anchors now include Macy's, Boscov's, JC Penney, and Dick's Sporting Goods. Two anchor spaces are currently vacant following the December 2019 closure of Lord and Taylor (120,000 SF) and the April 2020 closure of Sears (274,100 SF). Macy's, JC Penny and the former Lord & Taylor space are not included as collateral for the loan. Other major tenants include Boscov's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Dave & Busters. As of the June 2020 rent roll, the collateral was 71% occupied, compared to overall 97% in December 2019 and 97% at securitization. The inline occupancy was 88%, compared to 85% in March 2019. The loan has amortized 5.3% since securitization after an initial 3-year interest only period. The property's performance had declined through year-end 2019. The 2019 net operating income (NOI) was nearly 17% lower than in 2014. The property re-opened in June after a temporary closure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The loan transferred to special servicing in June 2020 due for imminent monetary default stemming from the impacts of coronavirus outbreak on the property. The property also faces significant competition with seven competitive regional and super regional centers located within a 20 miles radius of the property. The loan is last paid through its April 2020 payment date and the special servicer indicated a pre-negotiation letter has been executed and discussions are ongoing.

The second largest specially serviced loan is the Brunswick Square Loan ($42.0 million -- 4.1% of the pool), which represents a pari-passu portion of a $68.7 million senior mortgage loan. It is secured by a 292,685 SF component of a 760,311 SF enclosed regional mall located East Brunswick, New Jersey, approximately 30 miles SW of New York City. The property is anchored by J.C. Penney and Macy's, both of which own their respective improvements and are not included as collateral for the loan. Collateral junior anchors include Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Forever 21 and a 13-screen Starplex Cinemas. The 2019 NOI was nearly 12% lower than in 2016. The mall reopened in June 2020, and the movie theater reopened in September 2020 with limited capacity, after temporary closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. As of the June 2020 rent roll, the inline occupancy was 90%, unchanged from June 2019 while overall mall occupancy was 96%, compared to 97% in June 2019. The loan has amortized 10.6% since securitization. The loan transferred to special servicing in June 2020 due to imminent monetary default in relation to the coronavirus impact on the property. The loan transferred back to the master servicer in October 2020.

The third largest specially serviced loan is the Hilton DFW Lakes Hotel and Conference Center Loan ($41.1 million -- 4.1% of the pool), which is secured by a10-story full-service hotel located in Grapevine, Texas, approximately 3.7 miles north from Dallas Fort Worth airport. The hotel was originally built in 1983 and offers a 393-guestroom mix featuring 234 queen guestrooms, 151 king guestrooms and 8 suite guestrooms. As of the trailing twelve months (TTM) ending June 2020, the occupancy and RevPAR were 49.1% and $76 compared to 74.7% and $117 as of TTM ending June 2019. The loan transferred to special servicing in August 2020 due to imminent monetary default at borrower's request as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The loan has amortized 10.5% since securitization. The remaining three specially serviced loans are primarily secured by hotel and retail properties.

Moody's has also assumed a high default probability for two poorly performing loans, constituting 6.8% of the pool, and has estimated an aggregate loss of $70.1million (a 28.4% expected loss on average) from the specially serviced and troubled loans.

Moody's received full year 2019 operating results for 94% of the pool, and full or partial year 2020 operating results for 74% of the pool (excluding specially serviced and defeased loans). Moody's weighted average conduit LTV is 101%, compared to 103% at Moody's last review. Moody's conduit component excludes loans with structured credit assessments, defeased and CTL loans, and specially serviced and troubled loans. Moody's net cash flow (NCF) reflects a weighted average haircut of 20% to the most recently available net operating income (NOI). Moody's value reflects a weighted average capitalization rate of 10.4%.

Moody's actual and stressed conduit DSCRs are 1.48X and 1.15X, respectively, compared to 1.50X and 1.11X at the last review. Moody's actual DSCR is based on Moody's NCF and the loan's actual debt service. Moody's stressed DSCR is based on Moody's NCF and a 9.25% stress rate the agency applied to the loan balance.

The top three conduit loans represent 19.2% of the pool balance. The largest loan is the Bloomberg Data Center Loan ($74.7 million -- 7.3% of the pool), which is secured by a 131,805 SF built-to-suit data center located in Orangeburg, New York. The property was developed in 2014 for $123.2 million. Bloomberg is the sole tenant with a lease through March 2029. The lease includes 20 years of lease extension options, renewable in periods of five and ten years. Due to the single tenant exposure, Moody's value incorporated a lit/dark analysis. The loan has amortized approximately 14.9% since securitization. Moody's LTV and stressed DSCR are 93% and 1.37X, respectively, compared to 97% and 1.30X at the last review.

The second largest loan is the Sugar Creek I & II Loan ($61.4 million -- 6.1% of the pool), which is secured by two adjacent, eight-story office buildings totaling 409,168 SF located in Sugarland, Texas, 20 miles southwest of the Houston CBD. The asset is also encumbered with $8.6 million of mezzanine financing held outside the trust. Both buildings are of Class-A quality. Sugar Creek-I was constructed in 2000 while Sugar Creek-II was completed in 2008. Collateral for the loan also includes a four-story 1,198-space parking garage in addition to 326 surface parking spaces. The largest tenant, Noble Drilling Services Inc. (originally 41% of the net rentable area (NRA)), had reduced their space by 52,075 SF in January 2019 as part of their 10-year renewal. However, the company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020. As of June 2020, the properties were 71% leased, compared to 93% in January 2019, compared to 92% in September 2017. Property performance has declined and the year end 2019 NOI was 25% lower than in 2017. Due to the loan's heightened risk of default, Moody's considers this as a troubled loan. The loan transferred to special servicing in October 2020.

The third largest loan is the Worldgate Centre Loan ($58.1 million -- 5.8% of the pool), which is secured by a 229,326 SF shopping center in Herdon, Virginia anchored by Worldgate Sport & Health and AMC, which is approximately 3 miles east of Dulles Airport. The collateral for the loan also includes a two-level subterranean parking garage and surface parking totaling 1,170 parking spaces. The property was developed in 1990 and is currently anchored by Worldgate Sport & Health flagship facility (108,670 SF) and AMC Worldgate 9 Theaters (38,238 SF).The movie theater was opened as of September 2020 with limited capacity. Per June 2020 rent roll, the property was 97% leased, compared to 98% as of December 2019 and 95% at securitization. The loan transferred to special servicing in June 2020 due to Imminent Monetary Default stemming from COVID19 impacts. However, the loan was returned from special servicing in August 2020 and was brought current in September 2020. The loan paid down approximately 10.6% since securitization. Moody's LTV and stressed DSCR are 121% and 0.85X, respectively, compared to 94% and 1.06X at the last review.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

The analysis includes an assessment of collateral characteristics and performance to determine the expected collateral loss or a range of expected collateral losses or cash flows to the rated instruments. As a second step, Moody's estimates expected collateral losses or cash flows using a quantitative tool that takes into account credit enhancement, loss allocation and other structural features, to derive the expected loss for each rated instrument.

Moody's did not use any stress scenario simulations in its analysis.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.

At least one ESG consideration was material to the credit rating action(s) announced and described above.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Suzanna Sava
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Structured Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Romina Padhi
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. AND/OR ITS CREDIT RATINGS AFFILIATES ARE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S (COLLECTIVELY, "PUBLICATIONS") MAY INCLUDE SUCH  CURRENT OPINIONS. MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE MOODY'S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE CREDIT RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS, NON-CREDIT ASSESSMENTS ("ASSESSMENTS"), AND  OTHER OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S ANALYTICS, INC. AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES. MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND  PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND  PUBLICATIONS DO NOT COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY'S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS AND OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLISHES  ITS PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

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Moody's Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Corporation ("MCO"), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to Moody's Investors Service, Inc. for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and Moody's investors Service also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of Moody's Investors Service credit ratings and credit rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold credit ratings from Moody's Investors Service and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading "Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy."

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MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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