As Foreclosures Rise, Bush Declares "National Homeownership Month"
June 06, 2008
Home foreclosures and late payments set records over the first three months of the year and are expected to keep rising, stark signs of the housing crisis' mounting damage to homeowners and the economy.But don't despair former homeowners. President George W. Bush has proclaimed that June is National Homeownership Month!
The latest snapshot of the mortgage market, released Thursday, showed that the proportion of mortgages that fell into foreclosure soared to 0.99 percent in the January-through-March period. That surpassed the previous high of 0.83 percent over the last three months in 2007.
The report by the Mortgage Bankers Association also found that more homeowners slipped behind on their monthly payments.
The delinquency rate jumped to 6.35 percent in the first quarter, compared with 5.82 percent for the three months earlier. Payments are considered delinquent if they are 30 or more days past due.
Both the rate of new foreclosures and late payments were the highest on record going back to 1979. ...
... As foreclosures and late payments climbed, financial companies took multibillion losses when their investments in mortgage-backed securities soured. A credit crisis erupted and spread, crimping other types of financing. The fallout plunged Wall Street in turmoil, disrupting the normal functioning of markets.
All those troubles have pushed the economy to the brink of a recession, if the country isn't already in one. Consumers and business have tightened their spending. Employers have cut more than a quarter-million jobs in the first four months of this year.