The Bad Guys of Subprime Lending Are Raking in Bailout Billions
Continued from previous page
Borrowers, in other words, were spending a much higher percentage of their income on housing during the subprime lending boom. Many of the lenders coaxed them along by lowering lending standards, failing to require documentation of income on loans, and providing adjustable rate loans with low two-year teaser rates that reset to much higher levels. Ultimately, that fed a wave of foreclosures, leading to trouble for borrowers, lenders, and eventually taxpayers -- lots of it. And digging out will be no easy task.
These top 25 lenders were responsible for nearly $1 trillion of subprime loans, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of 7.2 million “high interest” loans made from 2005 through 2007. Together, the companies account for about 72 percent of high-priced loans reported to the government at the peak of the subprime market. Securities created from subprime loans have been blamed for the economic collapse from which the world’s economies have yet to recover.