Below is from Dr. Oz via www.huffingtonpost.com:
article link here.
article link here.
Wed, 2009-12-23 10:39 — NationalMortgag...
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 18, 2009. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume decreased 10.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 10.9 percent compared with the previous week.
The Refinance Index decreased 10.1 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 11.6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 13.4 percent compared with the previous week and was 32.7 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 0.2 percent. The four week moving average is down 1.0 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 0.6 percent for the Refinance Index.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 75.9 percent of total applications from 75.2 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.8 percent from 4.1 percent of total applications the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained flat at 4.92 percent, with points increasing to 1.23 from 1.08 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.34 percent from 4.33 percent, with points increasing to 1.03 from 0.91 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.
The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs remained flat at 6.52 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.
For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org.
Moody's Investors Service has revised its loss projections for US prime jumbo residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) issued between 2005 and 2008. On average, Moody's is now projecting cumulative losses of 3.8% for 2005 securitizations, 8.0% for 2006 securitizations, 10.9% for 2007 securitizations and 12.3% for 2008 securitizations, reported as a percentage of original balance. As a result of the revision, Moody's has now placed 4474 tranches of jumbo RMBS with an original balance of $234 billion and current outstanding balance of $143 billion, on review for possible downgrade.
To estimate losses, Moody's first projected delinquencies through the second half of 2010. Moody's estimated that the proportion of contractually current or 30-day delinquent loans today that will become seriously delinquent by the second half of 2010 will be 3.7%, 7.0%, 8.4%, and 9.4% for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 vintages, respectively.
from the FT.
How the IRS sort-of-saved CitiPosted by Tracy Alloway on Dec 17 13:35.Who says the IRS isn’t, umm, understanding?
The US tax authority exempted the Citigroup, and some other bailed-out companies, from rules which would otherwise have led to the troubled bank losing $38bn worth of tax credits.
Citi had planned to repay the US government’s Tarp stake, and under IRS regulation, companies that encounter a change in ownership lose these tax credits. The rule is designed, according to the IRS, to prevent profitable companies from buying loss-making ones to evade taxes.
The rule-change has nevertheless raised eyebrows. From the Washington Post on Wednesday:
The federal government quietly agreed to forgo billions of dollars in potential tax payments from Citigroup as part of the deal announced this week to wean the company from the massive taxpayer bailout that helped it survive the financial crisis.
The Internal Revenue Service on Friday issued an exception to long-standing tax rules for the benefit of Citigroup and a few other companies partially owned by the government. As a result, Citigroup will be allowed to retain billions of dollars worth of tax breaks that otherwise would decline in value when the government sells its stake to private investors.
So Bernanke refinanced into a loan with a higher interest rate and with a larger mortgage payment for the security of a fixed rate. This suggests he thinks fixed mortgage rates have bottomed (otherwise he could have paid less on his mortgage, at a 3.75% interest rate, and then refinanced next year). He did not "have to do it".
From TIME Magazine: Person of the Year 2009 Extended Interview
TIME: Do you have a mortgage?
Bernanke: Oh, yes, we refinanced.
TIME: Oh, perfect. When?
Bernanke: About 5%. A couple of months ago.
TIME: Good time.
Bernanke: Yes. We had to do it because we had an adjustable rate mortgage and it exploded, so we had to.
TIME: So, did you get a fixed rate at 5%? I think this might be the most valuable piece of information. (Laughter.)
Bernanke: Thirty years fixed rate at a little over 5%.
“Mortgage rates in the United States have dropped to their lowest levels since the 1940s, thanks to a trillion-dollar intervention by the federal government. Yet the banks that once handed out home loans freely are imposing such stringent requirements that many homeowners who might want to refinance are effectively locked out.Sure, jumbo mortgage refinancing could save home-owners lotsof money they could then plow back into the economy — or even avoid foreclosure. But not if bank lending standards are too tight.
The scarcity of credit not only hurts homeowners but also has broad economic repercussions at a time when consumer spending and employment are showing modest signs of improvement, hinting at a recovery after two years of recession.”
From the Mortgage Bankers Association...
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume decreased 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 1.2 percent.
The Refinance Index decreased 1.4 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average is up 1.4 percent for the Refinance Index. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 72.9 percent of total applications from 71.5 percent the previous week. This refinance share is the highest share since the week ending May 15, 2009.
From the American Bankruptcy Institute: October Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Reach New Highs, Up 28 Percent Over Last Year
The 135,913 consumer bankruptcy filings in October represented a 27.9 percent increase over last October's monthly total of 106,266, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The October 2009 consumer filings represented an 8.9 percent increase from the September 2009 total of 124,790. Chapter 13 filings constituted 28.5 percent of all consumer cases in October, a slight increase from the September rate.
"The nearly 9 percent increase in consumer bankruptcy filings in October, together with a 7 percent jump reported in business cases, demonstrates the sustained stress on the U.S. economy,"said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano. ABI forecasts that total bankruptcies this year will exceed 1.4 million, the highest number since 2005.
2005 had a huge spike because a federal BK reform law was put into place requiring a means tests and classes be taken. They wanted to weed out the BK filer who was abusing the system.
I also read this troubling piece put together by CNN highlighting people that are forced to save money because of job losses and illness; resorting to fishing for dinner and hunting deer. This is on their personal financial site CNN-FN/Money. Things are very very bad. Extreme Saver Article Here.
I meant to get to this last week, but the day it came out, I was mostly enjoying the sites and vino of Italy. Largely without 3G access(everything is slower in Italy), and I somehow missed it:
“Despite some tentative signs of recovery, the U.S. housing market remains vulnerable to further price drops—especially in areas where large numbers of mortgages are headed toward foreclosure over the next few years.
The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly survey of housing-market data in 28 major metro areas shows sharp drops in the number of homes listed for sale across the country. But the potential supply of homes is far larger because banks are likely to acquire significant numbers of foreclosed homes in some areas, notably Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix, Miami and other parts of Florida, and Sacramento, Calif., over the next few years.
Sales of those homes may depress prices further. By contrast, metro areas with relatively low foreclosure and mortgage-delinquency rates include Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Raleigh, N.C., and Portland, Ore., making them less vulnerable.
Homeowners and potential buyers have been whipsawed by conflicting signals about the state of the market in recent months. Ulani and Mike Thiessen found the market surprisingly hot when they went shopping for their first home in Las Vegas during the summer. With the help of Kim Kelly-Reed, an agent from One Source Realty & Management, the Thiessens finally bought a foreclosed house in September for about $136,000—but only after being outbid on three other houses.”
chart courtesy of WSJ
“To say there is a second wave implies the (current) wave has receded,” [Sam Khater, senior economist, First American CoreLogic] “I don’t see that the wave has receded.”
Khater said ... federal and state efforts have mostly delayed foreclosures, preventing few. ... So to tune out the noise, just look at the 90-day rate. In Khater’s view it shows “one giant wave.”
Mr.Mortgage Summary:Expect to see more home inventory come on the market in the next two years. It takes 12-14 months after a payment is missed to actually get listed by a realtor for sale as an REO. With the unemployment rate at 10% give or take that is a lot of new folks entering the foreclosure line. This will pressuree prices in market that were the former bubble states.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Home Crisis Investigation|
The American Trucking Associations’ advance seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose for the first time since February 2009, gaining 3.2 percent in May. May’s increase, which raised the SA index to 102.3, wasn’t large enough to offset the March through April cumulative reduction of 6.7 percent. ...
Compared with May 2008, tonnage contracted 11 percent, which was the best year-over-year result in three months. Despite the improvement from April’s 13.2 percent plunge, May’s decrease is still historically large.
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said the month-to-month improvement was encouraging, but cautioned that tonnage is unlikely to surge anytime soon. “I am hopeful that the worst is behind us, but I just don’t see anything on the economic horizon that suggests freight transportation is ready to explode,” Costello said. “The consumer is still facing too many headwinds, including employment losses, tight credit, rising fuel prices, and falling home values, to name a few, that will make it very difficult for household spending to jump in the near term.” He also noted that he doesn’t expect tonnage to deteriorate much further and that any growth in tonnage over the next few months is likely to be modest.
Note on the impact of trucking company failures on the index: Each month, ATA asks its membership the amount of tonnage each carrier hauled, including all types of freight. The indexes are calculated based on those responses. The sample includes an array of trucking companies, ranging from small fleets to multi-billion dollar carriers. When a company in the sample fails, we include its final month of operation and zero it out for the following month, with the assumption that the remaining carriers pick up that freight. As a result, it is close to a net wash and does not end up in a false increase. Nevertheless, some carriers are picking up freight from failures, and it may have boosted the index. Due to our correction mentioned above, however, it should be limited.
Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing nearly 69 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods ...
repost from our favorite blog: Calculated Risk.
Expect to see good conforming and jumbo loan rates for the next six months at least. It will take some time for the inflation rate to budge and force rates higher.