Monday, July 13, 2009

Report: Option ARMs Performing Worse than Subprime

by Bill McBride on 7/13/2009 12:36:00 PM

From the WSJ: Pick-a-Pay Loans: Worse Than Subprime

For the third straight month, option adjustable-rate mortgages are generating proportionally more delinquencies and foreclosures than subprime mortgages ...

As of April, 36.9% of Pick-A-Pay loans were at least 60 days past due, while 19% were in foreclosure, according to data from First American CoreLogic, a unit of Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American Corp. In contrast, 33.9% of subprime loans were delinquent, with 14.5% of those loans in foreclosure, the figures show.
We knew this day was coming.

By the way, the Healdsburg Housing Bubble has a nice analysis of the Credit Suisse Reset chart, and makes a strong argument that many of the recasts will be later than the chart indicates: Reset Chart from Credit Suisse has a Major Error
Wells Fargo, who holds more Option-ARMs on its books than any other institution, states in their last 10-Q filing:
Based on assumptions of a flat rate environment, if all eligible customers elect the minimum payment option 100% of the time and no balances prepay, we would expect the following balance of loans to recast based on reaching the principal cap: $4 million in the remaining three quarters of 2009, $9 million in 2010, $11 million in 2011 and $32 million in 2012... In addition, we would expect the following balance of ARM loans having a payment change based on the contractual terms of the loan to recast: $20 million in the remaining three quarters of 2009, $51 million in 2010, $70 million in 2011 and $128 million in 2012.
In short, Wells expects $56 million in Option ARMs to recast due to the loan balance reaching 125% of the value of the original loan and another $269 million to recast based on the terms of the loan. Given that we’re talking about a portfolio of over $100 BILLION of these loans, this means ESSENTIALLY NO LOANS WILL RECAST due to the negative amortization limits or contractual terms before 2012.

Both assumptions seemed suspect, yet, they are in fact true. Looking at page 55 of the Golden West 10-K from 2005 we read:
...most of our loans are scheduled to have a payment change without respect to any annual limit in order to reamortize the loan over its remaining life at the end of the tenth year or when the loan balance reaches 125% of the original amount. We term this reamortization a “recast.” Historically, most loans in our portfolio have paid off before the loan’s payment is recast.
History doesn’t look like it will be a good guide going forward but this at least clearly spells out what we are facing. If recasts don’t happen contractually for 10 years this means that the $49 billion of Golden West Option ARMs originated in 2004 will recast in 2014, and the $51 billion originated in 2005 will recast in 2015.
There is much more in HBB's post, but this suggests that the problem will presist for some time (much longer than shown by the Credit Suisse chart).

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