I have spent a lot of time in other forums and blogs writing about the foreclosure crisis that everyone in the real estate industry is currently suffering from. I am beginning to truly believe that most American’s simply do not fully understand how severe the foreclosure crisis really is. Even long time colleagues of mine that have been in the industry for decades are under the impression there is a massive government bailout on the horizon.
The truth is there will be no bailout for the real estate and mortgage industries.
As opposed to listening to politicians and the news let us attempt to use some simple common sense. In order to bail out the homeowner that is in or about to go into foreclosure a bank or other financial institution would have to refinance their home with monthly payments the borrower could afford. Now keep in mind that due to prolonging this crisis home values have plummeted in many major markets. So what we are looking at is a lender refinancing a $300k home loan that is now worth $200k. No lender would do this unless the borrower could come up with at least the $100k difference. That being said, why would a borrower put that much money in a home currently worth $200k? And that is assuming the borrower would have the $100k on hand.
So the banks will NOT refinance and if they would the distressed borrower would not. It really is that simple.
Foreclosure Rate Increases
On this past Friday RealtyTrac posted alarming figures for the 2nd quarter of 2008 showing that almost three quarters of a million home owners received foreclosure notices in that period. The report claims that 1 in every 171 household in America is under some stage of foreclosure and “a nearly 14 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 121 percent increase from the second quarter of 2007”. The report goes on to rank states and major metro areas for foreclosures with Nevada coming in at #1 with foreclosure filings going out to one in every 43 Nevada households during the second quarter of 2008.
Looking ahead I see more of the same. There are still a significant number of ARMs that are yet to mature that will price sub-prime borrowers out of their homes. Foreclosure rates are proportionate to the ARM maturing rate so we are still a long way from seeing an end to this crisis or the bottom of this real estate slump. In coming months you will see more banks go under that are heavily vested in real estate loans. Unfortunately it will not be just the banks that made sub-prime loans. With properties devaluated you will see many borrowers forced to walk away from their real property.
By continuously attempting to artificially prop up lenders and borrowers that engaged in sub-prime loans our government is prolonging the inevitable and damaging property values of those not involved in the sub-prime lending debacle. In order to begin a true recovery we MUST hit bottom.