Everybody knows a recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job. Apparently more of us are coming closer to depression than we would like to believe.
The data you are about to read is from the June 2008 edition of Collections & CREDIT RISK magazine. This particular magazine touts itself as the consumer & commercial credit authority. I’ve been a subscriber for several years and agree with their self assessment.
Some of the people and sources quoted in the article, Late with Their Mortgage Payments, Consumers Lose Faith in the Economy, have been quoted before so you might recognize their names.
RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio is one of the people offering an opinion. On the topic of federal, state and local governments and community groups offering a helping hand to consumers he, in part, says, “stopgap measures could be simply deferring another flood of foreclosures which would mean extending the length of time required for the market to recover.”
My question would be does it really make a difference if these entities attempt to help. By their own admission (in this article) the industry says loan workouts are far and few between. If the industry says it isn’t willing to work with the borrowers, what difference, in actuality, does it make if stopgap measures are utilized to halt the flood of foreclosures?
Another quoted source is TransUnion. I would think they know a thing or two about delinquencies and can paint a picture of the nation as a whole, at least credit wise. They say the mortgage borrower delinquency rate – people 60 or more days late with their mortgage payment – is expected to rise throughout 2008 to 4.0% up from 2.9%.
If their quoted figures of 15 million adults getting calls from collectors is true, I would believe this information has relevance. After all, 1.1% is a staggering rise in a short of period of time.
Experian Consumer Direct did a survey and found “the number of severely delinquent mortgage accounts grew 15% between February 2007 and February 2008.” They did not define severely but I have to believe it is people who are a minimum of 90 days late and are about to receive a Notice of Defualt.
Maybe the most telling remark made in this article is by Theodore Iacobuzio, managing director and practice leader for TowerGroup. He said, “No one doubts the seriousness of the current credit crisis, but it’s noteworthy that the largest financial institutions are more likely than others to characterize its impact as severe or worse.”
Compare that quoted remark with what we’ve been hearing from some of TV’s talking heads and the White House. Maybe, just maybe, the most relevant information sits with those inside the industry who have the capacity to look at the macro credit picture.
Maybe, just maybe, we should be hearing more from them and less from the bleached blond bauble heads masquerading as “news” reporters. Then, maybe not…