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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bad Loans Everywhere

by Calculated Risk on 10/10/2007 09:57:00 PM

From the WSJ: The United States of Subprime (hat tip jim)

... an analysis of more than 130 million home loans made over the past decade reveals that risky mortgages were made in nearly every corner of the nation, from small towns in the middle of nowhere to inner cities to affluent suburbs.

The analysis of loan data by The Wall Street Journal indicates that from 2004 to 2006, when home prices peaked in many parts of the country, more than 2,500 banks, thrifts, credit unions and mortgage companies made a combined $1.5 trillion in high-interest-rate loans.

... the data contradict the conventional wisdom that subprime borrowers are overwhelmingly low-income residents of inner cities. Although the concentration of high-rate loans is higher in poorer communities, the numbers show that high-rate lending also rose sharply in middle-class and wealthier communities.

The Journal's findings reveal that the subprime aftermath is hurting a far broader array of Americans than many realize, cutting across differences in income, race and geography. ...

The data also show that some of the worst excesses of the subprime binge continued well into 2006, suggesting that the pain could last through next year and beyond, especially if housing prices remain sluggish. Some borrowers may not run into trouble for years.
I'm a little confused by this analysis. The WSJ used the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data to scan for "high interest loans". My understanding is that not all "high interest" loans are "subprime", some are Alt-A. And I'm not sure if this analysis included IO ARMs and Neg Am ARMs; two loan types frequently used by homebuyers in more affluent areas. Hopefully Tanta will help me understand.

But the analysis does make it clear that the bubble was widespread, and that the bust will also be widespread.