Friday, September 01, 2006

BusinessWeek: Toxic Mortgages

by Calculated Risk on 9/01/2006 12:02:00 AM

BusinessWeek's cover story is Nightmare Mortgages (thanks to reader Frank!).

While many Americans have started to worry about falling home prices, borrowers who jumped into so-called option ARM loans have another, more urgent problem: payments that are about to skyrocket.

The option adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) might be the riskiest and most complicated home loan product ever created. With its temptingly low minimum payments, the option ARM brought a whole new group of buyers into the housing market, extending the boom longer than it could have otherwise lasted, especially in the hottest markets. Suddenly, almost anyone could afford a home -- or so they thought. The option ARM's low payments are only temporary. And the less a borrower chooses to pay now, the more is tacked onto the balance.

The bill is coming due.
Make sure you check out the Map of Misery.