Tuesday, February 16, 2010

CNBC's Olick: Treasury Concerned about Next Wave of Foreclosures

by Bill McBride on 2/16/2010 04:35:00 PM

From Diana Olick at CNBC: What Mortgage Modifications Say About the Housing Market

Treasury officials today said they are still concerned about a coming wave of foreclosures, many from pay option ARMs and many from the prime jumbo basket, particularly hard hit by unemployment.
Olick also notes that the HAMP report for January has been delayed by weather until tomorrow. And she reports that only 2/3 of HAMP borrowers are current on their payments.

A couple of comments:

The main reason 1/3 of HAMP borrowers are delinquent is because some servicers didn't adequately pre-qualify borrowers before putting them in the program. The Treasury recently changed the guidelines for placing borrowers in to a trial program, and these more stringent pre-qualification requirements must be implemented by June. Most servicers have already started using the new requirements, and the number of new trial modifications will probably slow dramatically.

As James Haggerty at the WSJ noted this morning:
Loan servicers ... seem to have "nearly exhausted the supply of plausible candidates for loan modifications" and will find that many loans are "unredeemable," [a] S&P study says.
Note: the HAMP report tomorrow will be for January. Although the number of permanent modifications probably increased significantly, the actual number will still be very low compared to the number of HAMP trial modifications. Also - it is the report for February that will be VERY interesting because the servicers have been instructed to remove many of the delinquent borrowers from the program after Jan 31, 2010.