WASHINGTON – The government says the number of troubled banks kept growing last quarter even as the industry as a whole had its best quarter in two years.
continuing to react to the mortgage crisis be creating new laws, one more law is on the books. Earlier Thursday, senators dealt a blow to the nation’s largest credit-rating agencies, approving tough new rules for the industry and voting to remove the government’s formal endorsement of a handful of firms.
The percentage of prime borrowers seriously delinquent on their mortgage rose 20.3 percent during the first quarter compared with the previous quarter. It was up 163.7 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 341,180 properties in March, a 17 percent increase from the previous month and a 46 percent increase from March 2008. The March and Q1 2009 totals were the highest monthly and quarterly totals since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005 despite a decrease in bank repossessions (REOs), which were down 13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008 and 3 percent from February totals.
Normally if you or I buy more than we can pay for we wake up to the fact that we are broke. Not so with Citigroup. As taxpayers we gave Citigroup $20 billion in November 2007, and guaranteed $300 billion in loans on Citi’s books. You and I also gave Citigroup $25 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program – the TARP program. If you or I invested like that we would be broke. Citigroup cannot show where they helped a lot of homeowners, but did anger the industry when they agreed to let judges modify loans.