Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another reason for rising delinquencies ...

This chart (courtesy of Bloomberg) shows the Mortgage Financial Obligations Ratio, released quarterly by the Federal Reserve. The MFOR (don't you love these alphabet soup acronyms?) measures the percentage of disposable personal income going toward paying off mortgage debt, homeowners insurance and property taxes.

You can see that mortgage payments are now consuming the biggest chunk of disposable income in U.S. history -- 11.6% in Q3. And let's be honest ... many lenders have been writing mortgages at 40%, 50%, even 60% debt-to-income ratios. This is another major force behind the rising delinquency trend.


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