“Some mortgage companies had stopped foreclosing on borrowers as they waited for details of the Obama administration’s housing-rescue plan, announced in February, which provides incentives for mortgage companies and investors to reduce borrowers’ payments to affordable levels. Others had temporarily halted foreclosures while they put their own programs in place, or in response to changes in state laws.
Now, they have begun to determine which troubled borrowers are candidates for help, and to move the rest through the foreclosure process. The resulting increase in the supply of foreclosed homes could further depress home prices and put additional pressure on bank earnings as troubled loans are written off.
Some of the mortgage companies are themselves receiving funds under the government’s financial-sector bailout, which could make their actions politically sensitive. But mortgage companies say they are taking steps to keep borrowers in their homes, and are only resorting to foreclosure when there are no other options.”
We saw foreclosure sales drop in the second half of 2008 as banks employed all manners of accounting tricks to avoid actually reporting delinquencies. We’ve previously mentioned that the voluntary foreclosure abatements were merely kicking the can down the road. So to, were the bank gimmicks like extending the date of delinquencies from 60 to 120 to 180 days. As they run out of tricks, foreclosure-related filings increased in February 2009 almost 30% from February 2008, according to RealtyTrac.
And the backlog of “seriously delinquent loans” keeps growing . . .
Previously: “Reluctant Banks” Let Defaulted Borrowers Stay in Homes (April 2008) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/04/reluctant-banks-let-defaulted-borrowers-stay-in-homes/
Source: Banks Ramp Up Foreclosures RUTH SIMON WSJ, APRIL 15, 2009 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123975395670518941.html
Originally published at The Big Picture blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.