7. Fair Value
Basis for Measurement
Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants. A three-tier fair value hierarchy is used to prioritize the inputs used in measuring fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority to unadjusted quoted market prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs. A financial instrument’s level within the fair value hierarchy is based on the lowest level of any input that is significant to the fair value measurement. The three levels of the fair value hierarchy are as follows:
Level 1 — Valuation is based on unadjusted quoted prices in active markets that are accessible at the measurement date for identical, unrestricted assets or liabilities.
Level 2 — Valuation is based on quoted market prices for similar instruments in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in markets that are not active, and model-based valuation techniques for which all significant assumptions are observable in the market.
Level 3 — Valuation is based on inputs that are both significant to the fair value measurement and unobservable.
The accounting guidance concerning fair value allows the Company to elect to measure financial instruments at fair value and report the changes in fair value through net income or loss. This election can only be made at certain specified dates and is irrevocable once made. Other than mortgage loans held for sale, which the Company has elected to measure at fair value, the Company does not have a fair value election policy, but rather makes the election on an instrument-by-instrument basis as assets and liabilities are acquired or incurred, other than for those assets and liabilities that are required to be recorded and subsequently measured at fair value.
Transfers into and out of the fair value hierarchy levels are assumed to be as of the end of the quarter in which the transfer occurred. The Company transferred $14.6 million and $34.8 million in servicing rights carried at fair value from Level 3 to Level 2 during the period from February 10, 2018 through December 31, 2018 and the year ended December 31, 2017, respectively, as there was direct observable input in a non-active market available to measure these assets.