Saturday, January 09, 2010

Second Wave Of Mortgage Defaults


"60 Minutes" Report: So Many More Foreclosures Coming
Monday, December 15, 2008, by Dakota
Back in August, the New York Times ran a story about a second wave of foreclosures that is going to hit, a topic also covered on last night's "60 Minutes." These are so-called "exotic mortgages," and are known as Alt-A and Option Arm mortgages (the latter being mortgages that have a low "teaser" rate and then reset years later). The above chart, put together by the investment bank of Credit Suisse and featured on last night's "60 Minutes'" report, shows when the resets on these exotic mortgages are predicted to hit. Hedge fund founder Whitney Tilson pretty much sums up the entire story with this quote: "Holy cow, things are going to be much worse than anyone anticipated," but here's one excerpt of his exchange with reporter Scott Pelley:
Asked how many of these option ARMs he imagines are going to fail, Tilson says, "Well north of 50 percent. My gut would be 70 percent of these option ARMs will default." "How do you know that?" Pelley asks.
"Well we know it based on current default rates. And this is before the reset. So people are defaulting even on the little three percent teaser interest-only rates they're being asked to pay today," Tilson says.