Subprime Doesn’t Get Much Worse Than This

subprimeThis will help you get your weekend off to a good start. HousingWire reports that Fitch has come out with some more massive downgrades of subprime RMBS. That’s not too shocking but the numbers behind them are. Here is what HW reports:

Fitch Ratings today made massive downgrades on various vintage ‘05 through ‘08 subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), indicating the extent of the fallout related to subprime defaults has yet to subside.

The rating agency slashed hundreds of RMBS ratings further into junk territory. Handfuls of Wells Fargo Home Equity RMBS saw ratings drop to single-C from double-C and to single-D from single-C. A variety of JPMAC RMBS fell to double-C from triple-B and many from double- and triple-C to single-C. A handful of CitiGroup RMBS fell to single-C from double- and triple-C and others to single-D from single-C.

Fitch said the actions reflect updated expectations of default and loss from the relevant collateral pool. In terms of losses, the agency expects 17% of the original pool balance of the ‘05 vintage, 39% of the ‘06 vintage and 47% of the ‘07 vintage.

“The home price declines to date have resulted in negative equity for approximately 50% of the remaining performing borrowers in the 2005-2007 vintages,” Fitch says in a media statement today. “In addition to continued home price deterioration, unemployment has risen significantly since the third quarter of last year, particularly in California where the unemployment rate has jumped from 7.8% to 11%.”

A 47% default rate for the 2007 vintage is simply staggering but the fact that 50% of the performing borrowers have negative equity is a stunner. I assume that factor is used in projecting the expected default rate. Even if it is, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Fitch’s current projections turn out to be too conservative.

About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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