Saturday, April 04, 2009

The DAP Legacy: FHA Delinquencies Rise Sharply in 2008

by Bill McBride on 4/04/2009 04:47:00 PM

Note: Working on comments today - sorry for any inconvenience.

For years I've complained about FHA related seller-funded Down payment Assistance Programs (DAPs). These programs circumvented the FHA down payment requirements by having the seller funnel the "down payment" to the buyer through a "charity" (for a small fee of course). In 2008, low end buyers with no money for a down payment, flocked to these programs with predictable results ...

From Zach Fox at the NC Times: Delinquencies for FHA surpassed those of subprime loans last year

Once considered among the safest loans available, government-insured mortgages issued last year have performed worse than the subprime loans that kicked off the collapse of the nation's housing market, according to data from a research firm.
...
huge level of defaults on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which analysts called "stunning," raise the specter of further market turmoil and more taxpayer funds sent toward fixing the mortgage crisis.

"Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if you called me up in a year from now and asked, 'What do you think about the FHA bailout?' " said Norm Miller, a professor at University of San Diego's Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

First American CoreLogic ... reported this week that 20.7 percent of all FHA loans issued in 2008 were at least 60 days late by 10 months after the origination date. By the same metric, 14.1 percent of subprime loans issued in 2007 were 60 days delinquent.

The main problem with the delinquent FHA loans was low down-payment requirements, said Sam Khater, senior economist for First American CoreLogic.
...
By definition, FHA loans carry little equity. But the risk of failure was increased by the implementation of "down payment assistance" programs implemented by home builders, said Ramsey Su, a San Diego housing analyst.
...
The government has since discontinued the programs.
For more on DAPs, see Tanta's DAP for UberNerds

Journalists: A story that follows the history of DAPs, profiles the "charities" involved, shows the rising defaults associated with DAPs, examines the efforts of the FHA, HUD and the IRS to eliminate DAPs, and investigates the rent seeking activities of the "charities" (contribution to politicians, etc.) would be very interesting. Follow the money - as they say.