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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Misc: Record Low Mortgage Rates, Foreclosure Activity Up Sharply

by Calculated Risk on 9/15/2011 11:34:00 PM

A couple of articles from earlier:
• From Freddie Mac: Fixed-Rate Mortgages Continue To Find New Record Lows

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed-rate mortgages remaining near their 60-year lows as ongoing investor concerns over the European debt market kept Treasury bond yields low. The 30-year fixed averaged 4.09 percent, a new all-time low. The 15-year fixed, a popular refinancing option, also reached a new record low for the week averaging 3.30 percent.
• From RealtyTrac: U.S. Foreclosure Activity Increases 7 Percent in August, Defaults Surge 33 Percent
RealtyTrac® ( ... today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for August 2011, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 228,098 U.S. properties in August, a 7 percent increase from the previous month, but still down nearly 33 percent from August 2010.

Default notices (NOD, LIS) were filed for the first time on a total of 78,880 U.S. properties in August, a nine-month high and a 33 percent increase from July — the biggest month-over-month increase since August 2007. Despite the monthly increase, default notices were still down 18 percent from August 2010 and were 44 percent below the monthly peak of 142,064 default notices in April 2009.

Default notices increased more than 40 percent on a month-over-month basis in several states, including New Jersey (42 percent), Indiana (46 percent) and California (55 percent), but were still down from a year ago in all of those states.

“The big increase in new foreclosure actions may be a signal that lenders are starting to push through some of the foreclosures delayed by robo-signing and other documentation problems,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It also foreshadows more bank repossessions in the coming months as these new foreclosures make their way through the process.”
According to LPS, in July there were about 1.9 million loans 90+ delinquent but not in the foreclosure process (another 2.2 million already in the foreclosure process). In more normal times lenders would have filed a default notice on the majority of the 90+ day delinquent loans. Maybe they are now getting the process started.

Jim the Realtor mentioned today that it seems the lenders are "being proactive in identifying defaulters who have already bailed, so they know they can quit worrying about the stinkin' loan mod and get on with the foreclosure."

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 428,000
Industrial Production increased 0.2% in August, Capacity Utilization increases slightly
NY and Philly Fed Manufacturing surveys show contraction
Key Measures of Inflation increase in August
Early Look: 2012 Social Security Cost-Of-Living Adjustment on track for 3.5% increase