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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Subprime 2000-2006

by Tanta on 10/09/2007 10:04:00 AM

More stuff from the spreadsheet collection. This one looks at characteristics and some performance measures of securitized subprime loans from 2000-2006. Unfortunately, there is very little publically available data on unsecuritized subprime.


1. Total MBS issued on this chart is mostly, but not exclusively, first liens. (It includes securities that have some second liens, but excludes securities that are exclusively second liens.)

2. The average loan amount is based on first liens.

3. WAC is weighted average coupon or "interest rate" in English.

4. "Reported" DTI simply means that's what was reported. While I have some doubts about the accuracy of that number when the full doc percentage is dropping, do notice that it is climbing even so. The historical maximum acceptable DTI for conforming agency-quality loans was 36%.

5. Historically, subprime was a refinance business, not a purchase money business. This chart shows that very clearly.

6. "Serious Delinquency" means 60 or more days delinquent, FC, REO, or BK. Because this is calculated on the current balance of these securities, this number will be much higher than what you see reported based on original balance. You should be aware that the remaining current balance of these older vintages is very low; the average "pool factor" or balance remaining for 2000, for instance, is around 5%, as opposed to 83% for 2006.

7. "Default" is a very specific technical measure here. A loan is reported as a default in a month when its balance is reported as zero and its last reported status was in foreclosure, REO, delinquent more than 150 days, or any other status and a loss of more than $1000 was recorded at payoff. In other words, "default" is the final disposition of a loan, and it includes things like short sales and short refis as well as foreclosures. It does not include active modifications or forbearances, since these loans still have a reported balance. It is a loss measure, and because it involves the final disposition of a loan, it is always much lower for new issues than for older issues, even if they are performing equally.

8. Cumulative loss is based on the original security balance, and is equal to default times severity.

Now, about that FICO average. On the one hand, the fact that the average FICO is rising can be filed under "I sure as hell hope so." When you look at the steadily rising risk factors of CLTV, documentation level, DTI, and so on, you would certainly expect that higher FICOs were being required as some kind of risk offset.

On the other hand, those average FICOs are getting awfully close to near-prime or even prime territory, depending on your definition (620-660 being the usual floor for prime). That means that a lot of these loans have FICOs clearly in prime range. In order to rule out the possibility of predatory steering, you have to trust that the subprime industry has been scrupulous about giving subprime loans to higher-FICO borrowers only when the other loan characteristics are clearly non-prime. This question cannot be solved by looking at averages or even really good stratifications; it takes loan-file-level reviews to really understand what's going on. As those loan-file-level reviews were, apparently, not done by aggregators and raters and investors, they are now being done by servicers and courts.