Just minutes ago the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., concluded its quarterly conference call with reporters, announcing in a news release here thatjob losses are clearly the new driver of mortgage problems nationally, and especially in states like California where home values have been dropping.
Here's a California-specific look from the MBA.
The once-safe prime fixed-rate 30-year loan is clearly the new face of the mortgage crisis, said MBA officials. The problem for many people in declining markets is there's no way out of the jam, said MBA VP and Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann. Many people financed to the edge of their ability to make payments and can't refinance because they're underwater. That doesn't give a bank much to work with in the situation.
Be glad, Californians, you don't live in Florida.
It's the worst place nationally to have a mortgage or own a house for that matter.
Brinkmann said 12 percent of all the mortgages in the Sunshine State are in the foreclosure process - that is, somewhere between a notice of default reached after three missed payments and being foreclosed.
In California, 6 percent of all mortgages are in the foreclosure process.