By Saskia Scholtes in New York 2009-08-21

More than one in eight US mortgage borrowers was behind on their payments or facing foreclosure at the end of the second quarter, as rising unemployment aggravated the housing crisis, the Mortgage Bankers Association said yesterday.

The percentage of loans in foreclosure or with at least one payment past due rose to 13.16 per cent, the highest since the MBA began records in 1972 and a jump of more than a percentage point since the first quarter.

Jay Brinkmann, chief economist at the MBA, said signs were growing that mortgage performance was being affected more by unemployment than by risky underwriting, indicating a new stage in the foreclosure crisis that may not be easily addressed by government loan modification programmes.

“There has been a shift in the problem from one driven by the types of loans to one driven by macro problems in the economy and drops in house prices,” said Mr Brinkmann. “It’s unlikely we will see meaningful reductions in the foreclosure and delinquency rates until the employment situation improves.”

He expected the peak in foreclosures to lag behind the jobless peak by about six months.

The growing importance of unemployment in the mortgage crisis was illustrated by the increase in foreclosure starts on traditional prime fixed-rate loans. Prime fixed-rate loans accounted for one in three foreclosure starts at the end of the second quarter. A year ago they accounted for one in five. By contrast, foreclosures started on borrowers with subprime adjustable-rate mortgages fell dramatically in the second quarter.

英国《金融时报》 萨斯基亚•朔尔特斯 纽约报道 2009-08-21

美国抵押贷款银行家协会(Mortgage Bankers Association)昨日表示,因失业不断上升加剧了房屋市场危机,第二季度末,美国每8个抵押贷款者中,就有1个以上无力按时还贷,或面临丧失抵押品赎回权。


该协会首席经济学家杰伊•布林克曼(Jay Brinkmann)表示,越来越多迹象显示,目前失业对抵押贷款状况的影响,超过了贷款本身的高风险,表明止赎危机已进入新的阶段,政府的贷款修改计划可能无法轻松解决这场危机。