Friday, April 20, 2007

Things You Don't Need to Know About Subprime

by Tanta on 4/20/2007 01:21:00 PM

Loyal reader Brian (thanks, I think) sent this one for today's edification. Bloomberg gives us "Subprime Brokers Seek Solace at Two-Day Loan Pep Talk (Update1)":

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Mortgage brokers and bankers at a conference in Orange County, California, the center of the subprime lending industry, were told to prepare to make more fixed-rate loans now that lending standards are being tightened.

``Some of the underwriting guidelines just got too aggressive, that's the bottom line,'' Dale Vermillion, a Chicago-based mortgage consultant, said at the event in an area where subprime lenders including New Century Financial Corp. are based. ``The problem is the borrowers weren't thinking, the lenders weren't thinking.''

The $899 two-day seminar was being given by a lending expert who has advised more than 100 mortgage providers, including New Century, Ameriquest Mortgage Co. and ABN Amro Holding NV, on how to win more business in the housing boom. Now that at least 50 subprime mortgage lenders have closed, gone bankrupt or sought buyers, the tenor of this year's event was more subdued than previous years, some brokers said. . . .

The event was part informational, part motivational pep talk. Vermillion at one point had attendees applaud themselves because they ``are already among the leaders in the industry'' and encouraged them to help their customers buy homes because ``that is the American dream.''

Several times during the seminar, Vermillion led attendees in a call and response, and once asked for an ``amen.'' At a session following the formal presentations, Vermillion, who wears a cross-shaped earring, talked about becoming a born-again Christian in his early 30s. More than half of the attendees attended the session, which ended with a prayer.

``We as an industry provide a vital, vital service. Who here wants to be an agent of change?'' Vermillion asked during a session on company infrastructure and marketing. Hands around the room went up. ``Give me a `Yee-ha.''

``Yee-ha,'' attendees responded.

``Louder?''

``Yee-ha!''


I may change my mind on whether someone needs to "stabilize" this market.