Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Flagstar Bancorp: Concerned About Consumers Walking Away

by Bill McBride on 1/30/2008 02:56:00 PM

"Another effect we are seeing has been a challenge with the media and consumer groups; and with consumers willingness just to walk away from homes. We haven't seen anything like this since Texas during the oil bust and people just willing to declare bankruptcy and walk away. We are seeing a lot of that similar type social phenomenon occurring, especially in California. And that is concerning to us."
Mark Hammond, CEO, Flagstar Bancorp conference call. (hat tip Scott)
Hammond also expressed concern that a larger percentage of homeowners - as compared to previous housing busts - that go delinquent, don't cure. They just "go under" in Hammond's words.

Here is what Hammond means: Say a homeowner misses a payment and becomes delinquent. Historically most homeowners try to make future payments - even if they stay 30 days late. Now, according to Hammond, once they go 30 days late, many homeowners just give up and keep missing all payments; they go 60 days late, 90 days late, and on to foreclosure.

Also, there was some concern expressed about CRE loan concentrations and delinquencies.