When the housing market collapsed five years ago, it was due in no small part to mortgage lenders who handed out loans without really considering whether or not the borrower could ultimately pay that money back. Hoping to minimize the chances of this happening again, regulators have introduced a new rule today. [More]
After getting all hot and heavy leading up to the recession, then turning completely cold shoulder, credit card companies are once again starting to selectively flirt with subprime borrowers.
GM has agreed to buy subprime auto lender AmeriCredit Corp for $3.5 billion, bringing the auto company back into the lending game. GM, of course, used to own GMAC, now separate and known as Ally bank. GMAC was created to supply the financing for GM cars, but also got into subprime mortgage lending through its Residential Capital unit — and, well, you know how that turned out.
Here’s the official court filing (PDF) so you can get the full details on how Wells Fargo pushed or even fraudulently placed black borrowers into sub-prime loans, even when those borrowers could afford prime loans, along with an office environment where employees threw around racist slurs, calling black borrowers “mud people” and their mortgages “ghetto loans.” The official statements referenced in the NYT article are in this document in full. The affidavits begin on page 48. Two screenshots inside…
UPDATE: Read the affidavits here.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures how much Americans spend on consumer goods like groceries, clothing, entertainment and other goods and services, fell by 1 percent in October compared with prices in the previous month, says the NYT. “It was the steepest single-month drop in the 61-year history of the pricing survey.”
May’s national foreclosure rate was up 90% from last year, and 19% from April according to Reuters. Some of the statistics being quoted by the media are astonishing to us: In Nevada, a formerly hot real estate market, there was 1 foreclosure filing for every 166 households. Nevada’s foreclosure rate was up 40% from April.
NYT has a sobering counterpoint to the recent gangbanging of the subprime mortgage market in the press and in Washington. It’s main points:
Newly-formed Americans for Fairness In Lending (AFFIL) has called on regulators to use the crisis within the subprime lending industry as an opportunity to “reign in rogue practices.” [sic] I think everyone recognizes that the subprime lending crisis is caused by a number of factors, from uninformed and unwise borrowers to greedy mortgage lenders to banks that have turned a blind eye for too long. Maybe aggressive regulation–for at least a time–is the right way to ensure that everyone involved is forced to be responsible.
Soon, the piper may have to pay the piper: class actions against sub-prime lenders could be just around the corner.