"only earning from new mortgage fees not the spreads they count on to pay the fat dividend"
That sounds like serious trouble to me. I've been wondering how the MREITs could keep paying these fat dividends. I have noticed various of them issuing preferreds at 8% or so, more than they earn on loaning the money out. That implies that they are leveraging the money they raise, and in a rising rate market, that sounds risky to me. I've been very happy with MMAs rising dividend/distribution, but mystified by how they're doing it while other MREITs are taking hits.