Credit Score | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Tag Archive | "credit score"

CoreLogic’s New Credit Score Exposes Even More of Your Financial Life – NYTimes.com

CoreLogic’s New Credit Score Exposes Even More of Your Financial Life – NYTimes.com


NYTIMES-

There’s no hiding now.

Anyone who has recently applied for a mortgage knows that lenders are already looking much more closely at your financial affairs. But soon, they’ll be able to easily delve into the deepest recesses of your financial life, accessing information that never before appeared on your credit report.

[NEW YORK TIMES]

image: smallbiztrends

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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OKLAHOMA CLASS ACTION | Dutton v. Wells Fargo, Equifax, Experian, Trans Union

OKLAHOMA CLASS ACTION | Dutton v. Wells Fargo, Equifax, Experian, Trans Union


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA

1. WILLIAM DUTTON, JR.,
2. STACY WHITE, and
3. SHANNON WHITE, on behalf of themselves
and others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs,

vs.

4. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.,
5. EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, L.L.C.,
successor in interest to EQUIFAX CREDIT
INFORMATION SERVICES, INC.,
6. EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC,
7. EXPERIAN INFORMATION SERVICES, INC.,
8. TRANS UNION L.L.C.,
Defendants.

EXCERPT:

CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

20. Plaintiffs seek relief on behalf of the themselves and to represent the following class:

All homeowners in the State of Oklahoma who have been adversely
affected by predatory mortgage servicing and improper foreclosure
process by Defendant Wells Fargo, N.A., and are at risk of losing
their homes to foreclosure; and have suffered damage to their
creditworthiness due to the concomitant failure of Defendants credit
reporting agencies in their fiduciary duty to investigate independently
the factual accuracy of Defendant Wells Fargo, N.A.’s negative
information concerning their creditworthiness relating to home
mortgage loans between 2006 to the date of class certification in this
action.

[…]

[ipaper docId=63852432 access_key=key-5j2821fads99n3sv2hs height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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MBA Testifies on Potential Revisions to The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)

MBA Testifies on Potential Revisions to The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)


WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 24, 2010) – Jay Brinkmann, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research and Economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), testified today before the Federal Reserve Board of Governors at a hearing entitled, “Potential Revisions to Regulation C – Implementing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).”

Below is Mr. Brinkmann’s oral statement before the committee, as prepared for delivery.

“My name is Jay Brinkmann and I am the Chief Economist and head of research at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). I very much appreciate the opportunity to participate in today’s hearing of the Federal Reserve Board on potential revisions to its Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) requirements.

I would like to address essentially five questions or areas that need to be addressed. First, what data should be required? Second, how should the data be reported? Third, what should be used as the universal mortgage identifier? Fourth, what data should be made public? Finally, I will address some issues regarding multifamily data.

What data should be required?

Dodd-Frank already requires a significant expansion of the required data elements, although some are left to the discretion of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB). In addition, we understand the Federal Reserve is looking at some potential additions beyond what is in Dodd-Frank. We have no objection to an expansion of the HMDA data elements as long as that expansion is consistent with the stated purposes of HMDA, the elements are consistent with what is already collected, and the changes would not pose unnecessary burdens on lenders. It should be understood, however, that no matter how many additional data elements are required they will not serve as a reliable proxy for the range of credit models or credit decisions given the sequential nature of the credit decision, variations in decision-making processes among lenders, as well as variations in shopping behavior and self-selection of credit terms by borrowers.

One issue the Fed must keep in mind in determining what data elements to collect is that HMDA requirements should not turn into a safe harbor of allowable credit variables to be considered when making a loan. Freezing credit models into an official sanctioned set of variables would have a deleterious impact on credit availability going forward, limiting the growth of lenders who believe they have a better idea of how to do things. For example, over the years some lenders have come to believe that credit scores are not as important as the number of times a potential borrower has been late with housing-related payments. Some lenders now will simply refuse to make a loan to a borrower who has walked away from a previous mortgage, or appears to be positioning himself or herself for such behavior. None of these considerations are captured in any of the proposed HMDA data elements, nor should they be.

How to report?

In determining definitions and file formats for potential data items, the Fed should use the standard and uniform definitions developed over the last ten years by the Mortgage Industry Standards and Maintenance Organization, Inc. (MISMO®). Reliance on MISMO definitions would greatly reduce the regulatory compliance burden by allowing lenders and vendors furnishing HMDA compliance services to pull from existing MISMO-compliant databases to report under HMDA. This would reduce the errors associated with entering data a second time for HMDA purposes and reduce the phase-in period for trying to interpret and then implementing new HMDA definitions. In addition, MISMO standards have already been adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Reliance on the MISMO dictionary and standards would also help deal with the ambiguity surrounding some of the data elements specified in Dodd-Frank. For example, Dodd-Frank requires that credit scores be reported. MISMO recognizes that there is no such thing as a single credit score, so while it has a field for the score, it also has a field for the credit score vendor (such as Vantage Score or FICO), and the reporting agency. Rather than asking lenders to map multiple fields into a single number to be reported to the Fed, a number that likely would not appear in any credit file nor be used in the credit or loan pricing decision, the Fed could simply ask for the multiple fields dealing with credit scores and do its own mapping depending on whether it is doing a company-level or industry-level analysis.

I cannot stress enough the extent of the regulatory burden that HMDA and other reporting and compliance requirements place on the industry. The largest shares of investments in technology today are going to reporting and compliance needs, with no direct benefit to the companies or their customers. I would hope that the Fed would keep this burden and its costs in mind and minimize future changes in HMDA once these changes are made. Relying on MISMO would not only minimize costs but it would allow minor tweaking of data requirements in the future with less burden.

What to use as the universal mortgage identifier?

The industry already has a uniform mortgage identification number that is issued through the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). This MERS number is used by a very high percentage of lenders and is integral to numerous origination and secondary market functions. It would cause considerable confusion and unnecessary implementation expense to impose a new mortgage identification protocol on the industry. Reliance on the MERS Mortgage Identification Number (MIN) allows loans to be tracked from origination through sale in the secondary market and subsequent servicing, and is valuable in identifying and preventing mortgage fraud.

For the Fed’s purposes, a further advantage of using the MERS MIN is that it would help prevent double counting or the failure to count loans altogether. For example, the current practice of eliminating loans purchased as closed loans from correspondent banks lowers the apparent coverage level of HMDA. In an effort to see what was missing from HMDA, the MBA several years ago did a matched-pair analysis of correspondent loans and found that a large percentage did not have a matching loan in the retail/broker data. Use of the MERS MIN would largely solve the problem of estimating coverage levels because it would permit an explicit matching between retail/broker originations and correspondent originations, it would provide a matching of loans originated in one calendar year and sold in another, and it allow loan data to be double checked against other data sources like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

What to make public?

Federal Reserve staff have developed considerable expertise in the analysis and interpretation of HMDA data. Their annual article in the Federal Reserve Bulletin is the source of information on HMDA for most analysts. In recent years, Fed staff have gone the extra mile to conduct analyses beyond the HMDA data to answer topical policy questions.

However, while it is proper and customary for a firm’s regulator to have access to confidential data, care needs to taken before those data are made public. While we see tremendous risk of widespread identity theft if all of the HMDA data elements were to be released in their collected form, particularly when those data are combined with other publicly available data, under Dodd-Frank, decisions on such release now lie with the Board and later the CFPB. The lending industry has poured tremendous resources into safeguarding the private information of our customers, and we have paid large fines for lapses. No doubt we would face the potential of additional fines and public recrimination were we to make the proposed HMDA data elements available to the public at large. That is why any liability associated with the collection and release of these data pursuant to Board rules should lie with the Fed. Moreover, the Board should provide guidance on how lenders should deal with requests that come directly to them for these data.

To a certain degree, we would support a greater release of credit data in some form. While it still would not solve all of the statistical problems associated with trying to mimic credit models with these data, it would go a long way to putting to rest once and for all charges of racism that have been hurled at the industry by various groups over the years that have no basis in fact. The econometric problems of omitted variables, multicolinearity and spurious correlation would still remain, but sufficient data would be available in the public domain to refute most of these charges.

What multifamily data should be reported?

MBA estimates that the 2008 HMDA data contained information on 95 percent of the multifamily loans made that year based on the number of loans, but covered only about 61 percent of their dollar amount. The average multifamily loan in HMDA was about $1.7 million while the average missing loan was about $18.9 million. We question the benefit of expanding the reporting requirements to include a relative small number of high-dollar multifamily projects.

Clearly, the data elements associated with single-family lending are not applicable to any but the smallest multifamily projects. Variables like race and credit score do not apply to limited partnerships, corporations or real estate investment trusts. We suggest that the Fed should examine the usefulness of the multifamily data it collects now with an eye to scaling back the requirement rather than going to large lengths to expand the reporting requirements to cover a small number of large dollar projects.

In conclusion, in making changes to the required data elements of HMDA, the Fed should look carefully at what is needed considering the new data requirements under Dodd-Frank and their costs, integrating the data requirements with what is already being collected, and using data definitions and identifiers that are already in common use. In addition, the Fed should be very concerned with the privacy related issues that would attend a wholesale public release of the new required data elements.”

###

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation’s residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,200 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA’s Web site: www.mortgagebankers.org.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (1)

Your Social Security Number May Not Be Unique to You

Your Social Security Number May Not Be Unique to You


Via: Comcast

Editor’s Note: This post by Tom Barlow originally appeared on August 12 on WalletPop.com.

How many times do companies use your Social Security number as the unique identifier for you? You doctor, bank, employer, all depend on the number for billing and recording transactions. A troubling new study by ID Analytics, Inc. found that, according to the wide-ranging company and government records it has access to, millions of Americans have more than one Social Security number, and millions of Social Security numbers are shared by more than one person.

Just how many? Out of the 280 million Social Security numbers the firm studied across its network of databases,

– More than 20 million people have more than one number associated with their name.
– More than 40 million numbers are associated with more than one person.
– More than 100,000 Americans have 5 or more numbers associated with their name.
– More than 27,000 Social Security numbers are associated with 10 or more people.

How does this happen? Many are doubtless due to bad memories, careless record-keeping or data input errors. Others are due to identity theft.

The company offers to check your identity for identity fraud free at MyIDScore.com; however, it wasn’t able to verify me (and I’m very verifiable) and the personal information you share is collected in an opt-out manner. That is, you’ll have to send the company an e-mail to stop it from using your data to “make our fraud prevention tools better.”

There is a method to the assignment of Social Security numbers which can help a little bit in spotting frauds. The first three digits are determined by where you lived when you received your number; 596 to 599, for example, are issued to residents of Puerto Rico (yes, it’s part of the United States). The higher the number, the further west you lived at the time you received your number. There are no Social Security numbers starting with 900-999.

The middle two digits identify when the card was issued; 184-50 was issued in Pennsylvania in 1973, for example. There are no numbers with the middle two digits of 00.

The final four digits are assigned in numerical order.

Check yours with this handy decoder.

Do you share a Social Security number with someone else? What are your biggest concerns? Sound off here.

WalletPop.com is one of the leading consumer finance sites on the Web. Find the latest deals, bargains, consumer protection and personal finance information quickly. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in EconomyComments (1)

Should You Be Told if Your Bad Credit Affects Your Car Insurance Rates?

Should You Be Told if Your Bad Credit Affects Your Car Insurance Rates?


By DinSFLA

What does Car Insurance and Credit Scores have in common? DISCRIMINATION!

If the government does not step up with a plan to make sure this does not continue, other crisis will begin to brew.

AMERICA will take the roads uninsured because they cannot afford the rates and they still need to get to work and shop for food!

Once our survival instincts kick in nothing else matters but food, clothes and shelter. Get my point?

So this being said and with the high rate of foreclosures out there. Who is going to have stellar credit for car insurance?

The same goes with Employers and Home Insurance!

Enough is Enough…We are suppose to be the Land of The Free not The Controlled and Abused!

THIS NEEDS TO BE EVALUATED IMMEDIATELY! THIS AFFECTS EVERYONE!

Arkansas and Oregon Lead the Way

The attorneys general of Arkansas and Oregon have both filed suits against a leading car insurance company for failing to disclose “adverse actions” taken against customers based on their credit. Five other states have joined them in seeking national clarification on the matter. But this begs the question, “Why would car insurance companies not tell you that your credit was impacting your rates?”

The answer is simple: Every car insurance company treats its customers’ credit differently. A study by Consumer Reports showed a nearly forty percent difference between how two car insurance companies viewed the same bad-credit customer. And that’s two car insurance companies that actually use credit reports – some don’t. In that case, you could save up to forty-seven percent on your car insurance rates!

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in concealment, conspiracy, credit score, fair isaac corporation, fico, foreclosure, foreclosures, insurance, STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (0)

Moral bankruptcy?

Moral bankruptcy?


Again, make certain you research your documents and include everyone and anyone you may think should be named creditor!

Financially struggling homeowners say they’re just being shrewd when they file for Chapter 7 to escape a mortgage

By Mary Ellen Podmolik, Tribune reporter
June 27, 2010

Cash-strapped, jobless and denied a loan modification, Del Phillips faced the same straits as millions of homeowners who risk losing their homes to mortgage lenders.

Some have struggled unsuccessfully to keep their homes, and others have just walked away. Phillips decided he wanted revenge and was willing to ruin his credit record for it.

When a short sale didn’t work out as planned, the 32-year-old Chicagoan opted for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, a move that will leave Phillips with little except for the scant possessions in his one-bedroom condo. It also will leave his lender, Chase, with little except for, eventually, a condo that has lost value. Meanwhile, Phillips continues to live there, mortgage-free.

“I don’t feel shameful for what I’ve done,” Phillips said. “I’ve gotten past being shameful.”

Phillips’ move may seem an extreme riff on the difficult decisions homeowners make to unburden themselves of debt owed on properties that have lost substantial value. Lawyers and housing counselors say, however, that personal bankruptcy filings are becoming more commonplace as debt-holders seek sums due them, particularly on second “piggyback” mortgages used to buy homes.

“It’s a big trend,” said Dan Lindsey, a supervisory attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. “Banks are having a hard enough time dealing with the first mortgages. The second (mortgages), there’s no equity there to collect so they’re being charged off and sold to debt buyers and rearing their ugly heads later. It’s a drastic last resort to file Chapter 7, but in some cases it’s appropriate.”

Phillips bought the one-bedroom condo, tucked into a Lakeview courtyard building, in May 2007 for $212,500, securing a first mortgage of $159,375 and a $53,125 second note, both from Chase Bank, according to county records. In January 2009, he lost his public affairs job, began drawing on his savings and, in April 2009, after the government began its Home Affordable Modification Program, applied for a mortgage loan modification from Chase.

Customer service representatives with Chase, he said, told him to keep paying the monthly mortgage of about $1,400 while he awaited a decision on his application. In September, the still-unemployed Phillips was turned down for a modification because, as the letter stated, his hardship “is not of a permanent nature.”

Phillips decided to stop paying the mortgage and try to sell his condo in a short sale, in which a homeowner sells the property, with the lender’s approval, for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. A short sale typically does not tarnish an individual’s credit history as much as a foreclosure.

Short sales have been portrayed as a salve in the housing crisis, although lenders have been slow to approve them. In Phillips’ case, though, an approval for the offer on his condo came with a catch. Chase notified Phillips that it would still have the legal right to pursue him at a later date for the approximately $54,000 owed on the second mortgage.

“A short sale may satisfy the first lien, but the customer could still be responsible for the second lien,” said a spokesman for Chase, while declining to discuss Phillips specifically.

Phillips sought help from Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Inc., a federal government-approved counseling agency, which broached the idea of filing personal bankruptcy.

“(Phillips) did everything right. He had good credit, and then he lost his job,” said Michael van Zalingen, director of homeownership services for Neighborhood Housing Services. “If your lender isn’t interested in helping you, or the only thing you qualify for hurts your household, I don’t think you have any moral obligation to stay bound in that mortgage or paying to that company when it no longer makes economic sense for you.”

Phillips bristled at the bankruptcy suggestion, but after consulting with an attorney, in late February he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not the Chapter 13 that would have negotiated his debts, including those with Chase.

“My other option was to say I’ll roll the dice with the bank,” Phillips said. “Will they really come after me? I wouldn’t put it past the bank industry to do that. It’s going to kill me to pay a bank for a house I no longer owned. I was, like, there’s no way I’m going to pay the bank another dime.”

Lawyers say they are hearing about more instances of mortgage lenders selling the delinquent second loans used to buy homes during the industry’s heyday to third parties that are then pursuing debtors.

“He’s not outside the norm,” said Stephen Cleary, a Chicago attorney and board member of the Northwest Side Housing Center. “He can now sleep at night. The mental anguish has been relieved.”

For the year ended March 31, personal bankruptcy filings nationwide rose 28 percent, to almost 1.5 million cases, according to the administrative office of the U.S. Courts.

Still unemployed, Phillips says he wishes he had back the more than $12,000 he paid toward his mortgage while he sought a loan modification that never materialized. For now, he’s using part of his jobless benefits to pay his condo association fees while he looks for a job and considers moving out of state. Late last month he was served with a loan default notice by Chase, and Phillips estimates he’ll be able to stay in his condo seven more months while the foreclosure action works its way through the courts.

“I’m not a deadbeat,” Phillips said. “I’ve had to be very shrewd, like most business people. … I’m looking out for my best interests, and this is my best interests.”

mepodmolik@tribune.com

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in bankruptcy, credit score, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosuresComments (0)

FAIR ISAAC CORPORATION aka FICO: Now Worthless…

FAIR ISAAC CORPORATION aka FICO: Now Worthless…


By DinSFLA

Yep, just another way for bankers to rate our credit worthiness. As we  begin to witness all this garbage happening with banks these days, why even bother to save your credit? Save your cash and buy in cash. The higher the credit score the more we are worth to them. It makes no sense what so ever now. We are living our lives based on stupid silly numbers. If you want to purchase a home…go at it and be creative, ask for owner financing.

If we eliminate the banks “middle men” we will learn to live free with no strings attached. Don’t get all strung out because your score has gone way down. It’s only a number!

Keep in mind if you are in an illegal foreclosure you are only 3 months late…The non-creditors that are reporting you have nothing to do with your debt. If you care about this “FICO” score then write your bureau and demand that they delete any derogatory findings the non-creditor has filed with them!

Lets take a look at FICO:

Company milestones

  • 1958: Fair Isaac starts building credit scoring systems.
  • 1970: First credit card scoring system delivered.
  • 1975: First behavior scoring system to predict credit risk related to existing customers.
  • 1981: Introduction of Fair Isaac credit bureau try to scores.
  • 1986: IPO, stock listed at NASDAQ.
  • 1991: Introduction of TRIAD, a credit card management system.
  • 1996: Stock moves from NASDAQ to NYSE.
  • 1997: The American Bankers Association honors Bill Fair and Earl Isaac with Distinguished Service Award for their pioneering work in credit scoring. AHA… you see I knew they were involved some how! Right about the time they were planning our future.
  • 1999, the average FICO score of the top prime issuers of 30-year mortgage pools (privately issued non-GSE mortgage-backed securities) was 721 compared to a 605 average FICO score for subprime issuers of fixed-rate pools.
  • Under another classification, a 580 FICO score has been used to describe the minimum credit score acceptable for “A-minus” credit. Still, the lower grade subprime borrowers are characterized by a history of more delinquencies on their credit obligations. Under one classification, “B” and “C” borrowers can have a minimum FICO score of 540 and may have four late mortgage payments in the past twelve months. See Jess Lederman, Tom Millon, Stacy Ferguson, and Cedric Lewis, “A-minus Breaks Away from Subprime Loan Pack,” in Secondary Market Executive.
  • 2002: Merger with HNC Software, Inc., adding fraud detection to their arsenal with the $100 million Falcon product line and strengthening their analytics offerings in the insurance and telecommunications markets.
  • 2003: Fair, Isaac and Company is renamed Fair Isaac Corporation. Here too …they were on to something.
  • 2004: Acquisition of London Bridge Software, expanding services to credit collections and recovery software. Opens a new analytic consulting and product development center in Bangalore, India targeted primarily at Asia Pacific markets.
  • 2005: Acquisition of RulesPower, bringing Rete III algorithm to Blaze Advisor.
  • 2006: Celebrates 50th anniversary.
  • 2008: Fair Isaac released Debt Manager 7
  • 2009: Company name changed from Fair Isaac, to FICO (FICO means Fair Isaac Corporation). Website changed to fico.com

 

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



Posted in foreclosure fraudComments (1)

Even High-Score Borrowers at Risk of Mortgage Default: NYTimes

Even High-Score Borrowers at Risk of Mortgage Default: NYTimes


My Comment: If one is not being foreclosed on by the Entity who holds your note why should your credit be affected in the first place? If you raise this issue to the credit agencies I wonder if they will begin to wonder themselves. To be frank the way the future is going WHO WILL WANT CREDIT or NEED ANY CREDIT SCORE! …statement not a question.

Even High-Score Borrowers at Risk of Mortgage Default

The New York Times
By BOB TEDESCHI
Published: March 10, 2010

A HIGH credit score won’t necessarily insulate borrowers from the home-foreclosure crisis, according to a new study from FICO, which creates the credit-scoring formula used by most lenders.

In fact, the report, which was released in late February, suggests that these premium borrowers might be more likely to default on their mortgages than their credit card debt should they encounter financial difficulties.

From May through October 2009, the mortgage default rate for borrowers with credit scores of 760 to 850 was 0.32 percent, versus 0.12 percent for credit cards, according to the report. (FICO considers loans 90 days or more past due to be in default.)

Of course, that mortgage-default level is still far lower than the 4.5 percent rate for all mortgage borrowers during this period, according to FICO, which is based in Minneapolis. But the numbers are nonetheless worrisome, said Rachel Bell, a director of analytics in FICO’s global scoring solutions business, because they mark the first time the mortgage default rate for this category of borrowers exceeded credit card defaults.

In 2007, the mortgage default rate for high-scoring borrowers was 0.08 percent, versus 0.10 percent for bank cards.

Housing counselors offer at least one possible explanation for the shift: some people with financial reversals who are in danger of losing their homes anyway might be more likely to pay back their credit cards, because they still need them to buy groceries and other essential items.

Ms. Bell declined to speculate about the motivations of borrowers. Because the FICO analysis did not look at specific households, she said she could not determine whether a particular family carried both a mortgage and credit cards, and defaulted on one before the other.

But she did say that the growing mortgage problem among households with high FICO scores might be linked to two areas of increasing trouble in the mortgage industry — namely, defaults on vacation homes, and so-called strategic defaults, in which owners abandon homes that are worth less than the mortgage.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, which closely tracks foreclosures and defaults, says it does not track such statistics for vacation homes. But Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, said that if foreclosures had risen among vacation homes, their owners would most likely have bought the properties recently and for investment purposes.

The more value a home loses, the more likely an owner will be to consider a strategic default. A study in late 2009 by three university researchers — from the European University Institute, Northwestern University and the University of Chicago — found that when the mortgage exceeds the home’s value by less than 10 percent, homeowners rarely consider a strategic default. But if the value was just half the mortgage amount, 17 percent would abandon the house, and the loan.

FICO did not break out its recent data by state, but its regional data suggest that those with high credit scores in the Northeast were faring better than such people elsewhere. In the Northeast, borrowers with high FICO scores were still twice as likely to default on their credit cards as their mortgages. In 2005, they were four times as likely to default on their credit cards as their mortgages.

Borrowers with FICO scores of 760 and higher generally qualify for a bank’s best mortgage rate, as long as the down payment and monthly income also fall within the bank’s limits. A score of 720 is considered “prime,” and is usually the lowest rate that will allow borrowers to secure the most widely advertised mortgage rates.

FICO does not publish an average FICO score, but the company said the median score was about 720. And for the high FICO borrowers who default, even 720 is a dream score. One default drops such people into the mid-600 range, at best.

Posted in credit score, foreclosure fraud, forensic mortgage investigation auditComments (0)


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