Lots of blame to go around

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

In a recent letter to the editor (Sept. 11) takes the Republican Party to task for a variety of financial ills, including the recent takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by federal officials. Was this wrath properly directed or should it be more bipartisan? A brief history leading to this crisis is instructive.

The takeover was initiated by the increasing number of mortgage foreclosures and delinquencies leading to the current havoc in the financial markets. Reasons for these increases vary considerably with housing markets, financial circumstances of individual families, etc.

The fraction of loans failing is much greater for riskier types (e.g. subprime, ARM and Alt-A). For these loan types, the national foreclosure rates are 9 percent, 7.5 percent and 6 percent of their individual totals, respectively. For prime loans, the foreclosure rates are 3 percent, or less. The foreclosure percentage of riskier loans is expected to increase further since those delinquent under 30 days is currently 25 percent for just the subprime category!

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