U.S. mortgage roadkill is fresh and ripe for the picking.
Countrywide Financial demonstrated that on Tuesday when it announced plans to buy five retail mortgage branches from HomeBanc, which is exiting the business after its stock was delisted last week for trading around 30 cents a share.
Countrywide, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, said it was not paying a cash premium for the HomeBanc assets. Meanwhile, HomeBanc of Atlanta said it was no longer funding loans or
taking mortgage applications.
Fresh casualties in the mortgage industry continue to pile up amid a rising wave of late payments and foreclosures. Banks around the world are feeling the reverberations as they
scramble to reduce exposure to U.S. residential borrowers and tighten lending standards.
UBS is only buying mortgages whose borrowers have documented their income and other important information, according to a memo obtained by Reuters.
But it is not just borrowers with the weakest credit who are missing payments.
Impac Mortgage Holdings, whose executives have complained about their company being lumped with struggling subprime lenders, said it has suspended funding Alt-A mortgages. Those loans, which are not as risky as subprime, but not worthy of prime status, have been Impac's chief product.