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Still More Mortgage Meltdown

Posted by Daniel Jones on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 @ 10 PM

As Whitney Tilson and Glenn Tongue pointed out in their 2009 book More Mortgage Meltdown, the mortgage loans that actually brought Fannie and Freddie down were Alt-A loans, not sub-prime loans. Alt-A loans, were issued with a lack of income documentation and were later dubbed "liar loans." As Tilson and Tongue showed, interest rate resets on Alt-A's that were issued at low "teaser" rates are still resetting, and the resets won't peak until late in 2012.

Thanks to the Federal Reserve, this large volume of interest rate resets shouldn't prove too painful, due to the historically low level of interest rates. However analysis and opinion continues to predict a poor housing market for the foreseeable future.

Housingwire.com recently reported that sales of foreclosures may not peak until 2013. They report that half of all bank sales of foreclosed properties, or REO sales (real estate owned), this year have been from private banks. They predict that in the coming years it will be Fannie, Freddie, and HUD that dominate the supply of REOs for sale. Bank of America Merrill Lynch predict that total REO sales won't drop below one million a year until 2015.

Analysts at Barclays Capital say a "triple-dip" in housing prices will likely appear early in 2012. They warn that housing prices could fall another 6 to 7 percent during this downturn. They say close to 4 million houses are seriously delinquent or in foreclosure. A supply-demand imbalance could remain well into 2013 or 2014.

They say that nothing is certain but death and taxes, but they don't say high taxes. As long as local tax revenues are down, there is a risk that property tax rates will rise. Don't get caught with a declining asset (your house?) value and a rising tax bill. Contact us for Atlanta property tax appeal help.