For landlords looking to rent (.pdf):
Much hyped “foreclosure prevention programs” relying on voluntary loan modifications are failing to reach a significant number of troubled homeowners and are often backfiring when they do so, according to newly updated research released today by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). The across-the-board failure of these much ballyhooed “fixes” for the foreclosure crisis are expected to result in the new President and Congress facing considerable new pressure to clear the way for court-supervised loan modifications that will prove more beneficial for homeowners.
The findings released today by NACBA come on the heels of a dire new projection from Credit Suisse that “over 8 million foreclosures (are now) expected” over the next four years in the U.S. That astounding level accounts for 16 percent of all mortgages –- including 59 percent of all subprime mortgages and more than 11 percent of all other mortgages, including Alt-A, options ARMS and even those in the prime category. This new forecast from Credit Suisse is up sharply from the two to six million foreclosure range cited in previous estimates from industry sources.
No idea how reliable the Hastings Group is, but we have been discussing Alt-A’s and ooptions ARMS in he comments here for a while as the next shoe to drop. 60 Minutes devoted a segment to this last Sunday, but I was still on a Steelers high after the Ravens defeat and forgot to blog about it:
When it comes to bailouts of American business, Barney Frank and the Congress may be just getting started. Nearly two trillion tax dollars have been shoveled into the hole that Wall Street dug and people wonder where the bottom is.
As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, it turns out the abyss is deeper than most people think because there is a second mortgage shock heading for the economy. In the executive suites of Wall Street and Washington, you’re beginning to hear alarm about a new wave of mortgages with strange names that are about to become all too familiar. If you thought sub-primes were insanely reckless wait until you hear what’s coming.***
The trouble now is that the insanity didn’t end with sub-primes. There were two other kinds of exotic mortgages that became popular, called “Alt-A” and “option ARM.” The option ARMs, in particular, lured borrowers in with low initial interest rates – so-called teaser rates – sometimes as low as one percent. But after two, three or five years those rates “reset.” They went up. And so did the monthly payment. A mortgage of $800 dollars a month could easily jump to $1,500.
Now the Alt-A and option ARM loans made back in the heyday are starting to reset, causing the mortgage payments to go up and homeowners to default.
This really is terrifying stuff, especially when you consider the massive job losses and the potential of everything associated with the auto industry going down in flames. It makes Ben Stein’s panic the other day seem pretty damned reasonable.