In the crush of yesterday's deadlines I wasn't able to get these news releases online detailing the wobbly state of the nation's - and California's - home loan delinquencies and foreclosures from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
So we go: first a look at California. (This isn't pretty, but all I can say is be glad you don't live in Florida, where it's so much worse).
Secondly, here's a national view. (Much of the carnage remains in four states: Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California).
I sat in on the national conference call with reporters, a list that seems to be diminishing a little as the worst of the housing problem has shrunk to the Sunbelt.
The main point by VP, and Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann is this: prime loans, including the safe 30-year fixed-rate benchmarks, have replaced subprime loans as the leading edge of delinquencies now as joblessness has moved up the ladder to reach the better-off borrowers.
"Clearly the results have been driven by the changes in employment" he said. "We've had about a 5.5 million increase in the number of unemployed the last year. That compares with an increase of about 2 million loans that are past due."
And it's harder to get out of trouble now when it finds you, Brinkmann said.
"We went into the recession with a weakened housing market. So the impact was when people lost their jobs they were less likely to recover by selling the house. There was less equity in it and that translated to more foreclosures. Unemployment went up and now both the jobless rate the foreclosure rate are both going up together."
For prime borrowers it's become an endurance contest, he said.
"Prime borrowers usually have reserves. They can hold out. But the longer the problem takes place the more will fall," he said. What he means is: for a lot of borrowers this is a race between their savings and when they can find another job.
As for Florida?
- 12.7 percent of the state's mortgages are in the foreclosure pipeline between a notice of default and handing back the keys - and 25 percent more are at least 30 days late with payments.
"It's going to take Florida well into the end of 2011 to clear out what's currently on the books," said Brinkmann about repo inventory. "And then the new ones are coming in. We may not see anything change there until well into 2012 and even into 2013."
Photo: Mortgage Bankers Association