OTS Assesses Effectiveness Of Anti-Foreclosure Measures [Housing Tracker]

by: Judy Weil

Quote of the Day 

"Because mortgages were sold again and again and then to Wall Street where they were securitized and sold all over the world, I wonder how many homeowners have been foreclosed by a company that couldn't even show proof that they owned the mortgage." - Nancy Seats, president of Homeowners Against Defective Dwellings, speaking about the case of a homeowner who managed to stop a foreclosure on her home four times because the documentation on it was so flimsy and convoluted that lenders couldn’t even prove they owned her home to have the right to foreclose on it. (Consumer Affairs, July 5th)

Foreclosure Data 

Subprime the Highest Risk Segment in Seriously Delinquent Loans, OTS Says. "Office of Thrift Supervision: “Foreclosures in process rose from January-March… from 1.49% to 1.73% of all mortgage loans in the portfolio. New foreclosures. as a percentage of seriously delinquent loans increased from 8.69% in January to 11.21% in March…While subprime mortgages made up 9% of the total loans serviced, subprime mortgages made up 41% of all loss mitigation actions at the end of March. Workouts increased by 26% from February-March, [while] new foreclosures grew only 8.5% during the same period. Loan modifications made up 71% of all loans undergoing some sort of workout solution, outnumbering new payment plans by 2.5 to one.”  (Default Servicing News, July 7th)


Prince William Foreclosures Get International Attention.  Washington D.C.: “Prince William County's high rate of home foreclosures is drawing some international eyes. Piotr Malecki, a  Polish photojournalist, concluded a two-week reporting trip in the county yesterday, documenting people who have either lost or are on the brink of losing their homes in Woodbridge, Dumfries, Manassas and other parts of the county. Prince William County has been one of the hardest-hit areas. In May, the Land Records Office of the county's Circuit Court recorded 797 trustee sales, the second-highest in the past two years after December.”  (Washington Post Biz Blog, July 7th)


Fuzzy Foreclosure Math.  “Some Fairfax officials say that 3,500 homes in the county were foreclosed on in Q1’08; others say that the number is closer to 2,000… [A local] program… aims to stabilize areas where clusters of homes that have been foreclosed on threaten property values. The Fairfax board has agreed to divert $10 million in tax revenue toward the purchase of as many as 200 foreclosed houses. The county will buy about 10 properties initially and will provide qualified buyers with loans for the rest. Most of the aid will be directed to first-time buyers earning up to $75,000, and purchases will be limited to $385,000.”  (Washington Post Editorial, July 5th)

Subprime's Hottest Spinoff: Arson.  “Mortgage defaults [have] resulted in a stockpile of abandoned buildings that has fire safety officials in the hardest hit locations fearing a wave of arson. National arson statistics for 2007 [aren’t] available till early fall, but the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud expects the data to show a significant increase in fires. Spokesman James Quiggle: "Home arsons follow foreclosure trends, with a lag.” Firefighters say abandoned buildings often give rise to more dangerous fires because [no one is] around to call for help when the fire is at its early stages. A 2007 study [found] 3.7 firefighter injuries per 100 blazes in vacant buildings versus 1.9 injuries per 100 fires overall.”  (Canada Financial Post, July 5th)

Lenders Help Fewer Homeowners In May.  “Industry data: The mortgage industry helped 170,000 at-risk homeowners with their troubled loans in May, down about 7% from the previous month... Hope Now, an industry alliance: The month-to-month decline was a statistical anomaly and that lenders are still on schedule to help 519,000 homeowners during Q2… The decline compared with April, when a record 182,000 homeowners were helped, will be more than made up later. The industry's recent adoption of guidelines to streamline the workout process will help lenders speed assistance to homeowners. The group estimates that it has helped 1.7 million homeowners avoid foreclosure since July.” (Washington Post, July 3rd)

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