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Loan Performance and Negative Home Equity in the Nonprime Mortgage Market
William B. Shear (au)
The number of nonprime mortgage originations (including subprime and Alt-A loans) grew rapidly from 2000 through 2006, a period during which average house prices appreciated dramatically. In dollar terms, the nonprime share of mortgage originations rose from about 12% ($125 billion) in 2000 to approx. 34% ($1 trillion) in 2006. These mortgages have been associated with what was subsequently recognized as a speculative housing bubble. As house prices subsequently fell, the subprime and Alt-A market segments contracted sharply, and very few nonprime originations were made after mid-2007. Borrowers who had obtained nonprime mortgages earlier in the decade increasingly fell behind on their mortgage payments, helping to push default and foreclosure rates to historical highs. Economic conditions and a weak housing market have contributed to the increase in troubled loans. This report (1) provides information on the performance of these nonprime loans as of June 30, 2009, and describes forecasts made by others of future loan performance; and (2) examines the extent of negative home equity among nonprime borrowers in selected metropolitan areas and nationwide. In addition, this report describes the preliminary results of GAO's analysis of the demographic characteristics of nonprime borrowers -- including race and ethnicity -- whose loans originated in 2005. Figures.
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