The New Foreclosure Trend

by: Tim Iacono

From the recent Lender Processing Services report comes the chart shown below depicting the latest foreclosure trend - non-foreclosures. That is, where borrowers stop making mortgage payments but stay in the house.
IMAGE Click to enlarge
Does anyone know of any estimate of the impact of this extra cash on such things as consumer spending within the GDP data? Here's my back-of-the-envelope calculation for Q4:

  • 3 months x $1,000 a month x 711,214 households x 75 percent = $1.6 billion

Assuming these "homeowners" bought things with 75 percent of what they didn't pay in mortgage payments, this would account for about 2 percent of the increase in personal consumption during the fourth quarter - not really significant, but it sure didn't hurt.