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Nobody's Making the House Payment, Nobody's Getting New Mortgages

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Despite the complete recovery of the American Economy -- what, did you miss it? -- a record 14% of households with mortgages are currently delinquent. That's more than 7 million households. Another survey says 10% of all mortgages are in default, the highest percentage on record. Don't worry, it gets worse.


New mortgage applications dropped to a 13-year low, which probably means the "demand" last year was just the new homebuyer/replacement homebuyer tax credits at work, as we all expected.

And new building permits fell by 13.5%, the lowest in a dismal chain of housing permit numbers since October of last year, when building permits were *also* at record lows. And 37% of new foreclosures are hitting "fixed-rate mortgages held by the safest borrowers."

McClatchy News Services reports that everything is terrible:

Prime loans, those made to the safest borrowers with the highest credit scores, account for almost 66 percent of outstanding U.S. mortgages, so their rising foreclosure numbers are troubling.

"People with higher scores are defaulting at rates we have not seen in the past,'' said Jay Brinkmann, the chief economist for the trade group.

The slide into foreclosure of the strongest borrowers is partly a function of the nation's unemployment rate, which is now 9.9 percent. The Great Recession has mowed down white-collar and blue-collar workers alike.

Uhh. [New York Times]

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