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Section 1: 4 (4)

Ownership Submission
FORM 4
Check this box if no longer subject to Section 16. Form 4 or Form 5 obligations may continue. See Instruction 1(b).
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

Filed pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Section 17(a) of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 or Section 30(h) of the Investment Company Act of 1940
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(Print or Type Responses)
1. Name and Address of Reporting Person *
Schwartz Harold E
  2. Issuer Name and Ticker or Trading Symbol
MFA FINANCIAL, INC. [MFA]
5. Relationship of Reporting Person(s) to Issuer
(Check all applicable)
_____ Director _____ 10% Owner
__X__ Officer (give title below) _____ Other (specify below)
Senior Vice President
(Last)
(First)
(Middle)
C/O MFA FINANCIAL, INC., 350 PARK AVENUE, 20TH FLOOR
3. Date of Earliest Transaction (Month/Day/Year)
01/15/2019
(Street)

NEW YORK, NY 10022
4. If Amendment, Date Original Filed (Month/Day/Year)
6. Individual or Joint/Group Filing (Check Applicable Line)
_X_ Form filed by One Reporting Person
___ Form filed by More than One Reporting Person
(City)
(State)
(Zip)
Table I - Non-Derivative Securities Acquired, Disposed of, or Beneficially Owned
1.Title of Security
(Instr. 3)
2. Transaction Date (Month/Day/Year) 2A. Deemed Execution Date, if any (Month/Day/Year) 3. Transaction Code
(Instr. 8)
4. Securities Acquired (A) or Disposed of (D)
(Instr. 3, 4 and 5)
5. Amount of Securities Beneficially Owned Following Reported Transaction(s)
(Instr. 3 and 4)
6. Ownership Form: Direct (D) or Indirect (I)
(Instr. 4)
7. Nature of Indirect Beneficial Ownership
(Instr. 4)
Code V Amount (A) or (D) Price
Common Stock 01/15/2019   M(1)   10,000 A $ 0 (2) 81,331 D  
Common Stock 01/15/2019   M(3)   27,007 A $ 0 (2) 108,338 D  
Common Stock 01/15/2019   F(4)   19,666 D $7.05 88,672 D  

Reminder: Report on a separate line for each class of securities beneficially owned directly or indirectly.
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Table II - Derivative Securities Acquired, Disposed of, or Beneficially Owned
(e.g., puts, calls, warrants, options, convertible securities)
1. Title of Derivative Security
(Instr. 3)
2. Conversion or Exercise Price of Derivative Security 3. Transaction Date (Month/Day/Year) 3A. Deemed Execution Date, if any (Month/Day/Year) 4. Transaction Code
(Instr. 8)
5. Number of Derivative Securities Acquired (A) or Disposed of (D)
(Instr. 3, 4, and 5)
6. Date Exercisable and Expiration Date
(Month/Day/Year)
7. Title and Amount of Underlying Securities
(Instr. 3 and 4)
8. Price of Derivative Security
(Instr. 5)
9. Number of Derivative Securities Beneficially Owned Following Reported Transaction(s)
(Instr. 4)
10. Ownership Form of Derivative Security: Direct (D) or Indirect (I)
(Instr. 4)
11. Nature of Indirect Beneficial Ownership
(Instr. 4)
Code V (A) (D) Date Exercisable Expiration Date Title Amount or Number of Shares
Phantom Shares (5) 01/15/2019   M(5)     10,000 01/15/2019 01/15/2019 Common Stock 10,000 (5) 65,000 D  
Phantom Shares (6) 01/15/2019   M(6)     10,000(7)(8) 01/15/2019 01/15/2019 Common Stock 10,000(7)(8) (6) 55,000 D  

Reporting Owners

Reporting Owner Name / Address Relationships
 Director  10% Owner  Officer  Other
Schwartz Harold E
C/O MFA FINANCIAL, INC.
350 PARK AVENUE, 20TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10022
      Senior Vice President  

Signatures

 /s/ Harold E. Schwartz   01/17/2019
**Signature of Reporting Person Date

Explanation of Responses:

* If the form is filed by more than one reporting person, see Instruction 4(b)(v).
** Intentional misstatements or omissions of facts constitute Federal Criminal Violations. See 18 U.S.C. 1001 and 15 U.S.C. 78ff(a).
(1) Shares acquired pursuant to the settlement of time-based restricted stock units (i.e., phantom stock) granted to the Reporting Person in January 2016.
(2) Each phantom share is the economic equivalent of one share of common stock of MFA Financial, Inc. Each phantom share was settled in one share of common stock of MFA Financial, Inc.
(3) Shares acquired in connection with the settlement of performance-based restricted stock units (i.e., phantom stock) ("PRSUs") granted to the Reporting Person in January 2016 as discussed in Notes 6, 7 and 8 below. The number of shares reported includes 7,139 shares representing the settlement (in the form of additional shares of common stock) of dividend equivalents that accrued during the three-year performance period ended December 31, 2018 in respect of the PRSUs that vested and whose settlement is reported herein.
(4) The reported disposition represents the surrender of shares to satisfy tax obligations arising from the settlement of phantom shares described in Notes 1 and 3 above.
(5) Settlement of time-based restricted stock units (i.e., phantom stock) granted to the Reporting Person in January 2016. Each phantom share is the economic equivalent of one share of common stock of MFA Financial, Inc. Each phantom share was settled in one share of common stock of MFA Financial, Inc.
(6) Settlement of performance-based restricted stock units (i.e., phantom stock) ("PRSUs") granted to the Reporting Person in January 2016. Each phantom share is the economic equivalent of one share of common stock of MFA Financial, Inc. Each phantom share was settled in one share of common stock of MFA Financial, Inc.
(7) The number of PRSUs reported in Table II represents the target number of PRSUs that were granted to the reporting person in January 2016. Per the terms of the award agreement governing the PRSUs, the number of underlying shares of MFA common stock that the recipient ultimately became entitled to receive at the time of vesting ranged from 0% to 200% of the target number of PRSUs granted, subject to the achievement of a pre-established performance metric. The vesting of these PRSUs was based on MFA's total stockholder return for the three years ended December 31, 2018.
(8) The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of MFA Financial, Inc. has confirmed and certified that the PRSUs vested at a level above target, as reflected in Table I above (see Note 3). In addition, per the terms of the award agreement governing the PRSUs, the number of PRSUs that vested was adjusted to reflect the value of any dividends paid on MFA's common stock during the performance period in respect of the number of PRSUs that ultimately vested.

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