Prime Loans: Don't They Need To "Freeze Up" As Well?

Freezing Subprime Rates
CNBC.com
Freezing Subprime Rates

I was reading the report from the Mortgage Bankers Association this morning on delinquencies and foreclosures. None of it was particularly unexpected, but I was struck by one aspect, and that is the amount of prime loans that are going into foreclosure.

The headline of course is that 43 percent of all new foreclosures are subprime adjustable rate loans, but that means that 57 percent are not. They're prime and Alt-A loans, and all the bailout plans we're hearing seem to have nothing to do with them.

In a little while we're going to hear from President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. They're going to outline their "subprime" plan...the teaser freezer as we're all now calling it. But as you listen to all the ways in which the government and industry are going to save all those subprime borrowers, keep in mind that prime loans are not a part of it.

Following the Subprime Fallout
Following the Subprime Fallout

Alt-A's are not a part of it (Alt-A's are the low-doc, no-doc loans often used by those who are self-employed). And what about all the home equity loans, most of which are adjustable?? During the housing boom, and the accompanying sky-high price appreciation, Americans were using their homes like ATMs, and the interest rate adjustments are now coming home to bite them.

This fix today, the one we're all hyped about, may do some good, but there is far far more work to be done to set this ship right again. I'll check in again later after we get the details, so check back.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com