WSJ / REVIEW & OUTLOOK / MAY 27, 2009
Some redefault rates may reach 75%
A central tenet of Washington economic policy for the past three years has been that the key to ending the recession is stopping mortgage foreclosures, whatever the cost. Well, another new study shows that mortgage-servicing companies are having a terrible time of it, not least because the mortgages are continuing to sour at a rate nearly as fast as they can be modified.
Yesterday's Journal reports that Fitch Ratings looked at mortgages bundled into securities between 2005 and 2007 and managed by some 30 mortgage companies. Fitch found that a conservative projection was that between 65% and 75% of modified subprime loans will fall delinquent by 60 days or more within 12 months of having been modified to keep the borrowers in their homes. This is an even worse result than previous reports by federal regulators. Even loans whose principal was reduced by as much as 20% were still redefaulting in a range of 30% to 40% after 12 months.
The reasons for the high redefault rate aren't surprising. Many of the borrowers never could afford these homes in the first place, yet the political pressure has been strong to modify loans even for these borrowers. As home prices continue to fall in some markets, borrowers remain underwater and many of them simply walk away from the home and thus redefault.
This study has to come as a blow to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which has invested a great deal of political capital in the modification thesis. It also means that to the extent that public money has guaranteed any of these loan modifications, the taxpayer will be an even bigger loser. Banks don't like to foreclose on borrowers, so the best public policy was always voluntary renegotiation. As for the housing market, the quickest way to begin a recovery is to more quickly let prices find a bottom. On the evidence so far, the mortgage modification fervor has been a giant political exercise with little impact on housing prices.
"The FACTS are always subject to CHANGE once the TRUTH is applied"
"In the entire history of man the only stupid questions are the ones that don't get asked"
just wait until the great one's new HASP program puts us right back into the situation that caused the housing bust. Give it a few years to collapse again.
maybe someday we will all realise that not everyone deserves to own a home.........but I won't hold my breath
"The reasons for the high redefault rate aren't surprising. Many of the borrowers never could afford these homes in the first place,"
and theres your main problem. if you dong have $50 in your pocket it doestn matter if your house loan is 2k a month or been reduced to 1k a month.
darn it joey everyone deserves a house and two cars and a big screen tv, if the working citizens have to pay for it so the worthless and unemployed have it then thats what has to be done.