Following the remarkably high 60 percent back-end debt-to-income ratio for homeowners whose loans have been made “permanent” via the government’s HAMP program as noted here a couple days ago come more scary statistics on the nation’s housing market.
From Diana Olick’s Loans Going Bad Faster Than the Fixes comes word of how long the foreclosure process is being dragged out:
More than 31 percent of loans that have been delinquent for six months are not yet in foreclosure, while 22.8 percent of loans delinquent for 12 months have not been moved to foreclosure status…
More evidence of banks being hopelessly behind or not wanting to take market prices for REOs comes in California foreclosure starts rise nearly 20% in February from the LA Times:
The number of properties scheduled for foreclosure sale also remained near record levels. However, actual sales of foreclosure properties, whether back to the bank or those sold to third parties, dropped 11.9% in February from the month prior.
Lastly, Paul Jackson at Housing Wire concludes that Housing Recovery is Spelled R-E-O after culling through yesterday’s report from Lender Processing Services:
On average, severely delinquent borrowers have gone more than 9 months without making a mortgage payment—and yet foreclosure has not yet started for them. For those borrowers who are in the foreclosure process, it’s been an average of 13.6 months—more than one full year—since they last made any payment on their mortgage.
With this kind of data piling up, it’s hard to get excited about the prospects for any sort of a near-term recovery. Based on how the banks and the government are handling the problem, we’re probably in for a housing market bottom that will take years to form.