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Big Banks, Bad Mortgages, Caveat Emptor

The American Banker newspaper is reporting that banks may be hiding losses from their shareholders:
The nation’s four largest banks are holding $57 billion of seriously delinquent loans that they’ve been slow to move into foreclosure over concerns that the Federal Housing Administration, the government mortgage insurer, will refuse to cover the losses and hit them with damages, according to industry sources.
The Guarantee That Banks May Fear to Invoke - " . . . Rebel Cole, a former Federal Reserve Board economist who is now a professor of finance and real estate at DePaul University in Chicago, says the banks could face heavy losses on the loans because the F.H.A. might refuse to cover them. The article adds: Some lenders acknowledge that they will likely end up eating losses on defaulted loans held on their balance sheets and settlements related to past claims. They are also likely to try to avoid the risk of getting hit with damages by forgoing the FHA claims process and absorbing some losses themselves. . . ." (read more at links above)

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