Impact of meltdown seen in mortgage data

The Philadelphia InquirerSeptember 23, 2012 

PHILADELPHIA — If you tried to get a mortgage last year and failed, or were put through the wringer first, you are in good company.

Of the 11.7 million mortgage applications received by lenders in 2011, only 7.1 million resulted in loans, data on transactions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act show. Mortgage lending fell to a 16-year low.

There also were fewer lenders in the market. In 2006, the data covered slightly more than 8,900 lenders. In 2011, there were 7,632, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, which made the data available last week.

In the aftermath of the financial meltdown of September 2008 and as more home loans soured, lenders tightened their underwriting requirements.

The total number of originated loans of all types and purposes reported fell by about 780,000, or 10 percent, from 2010, in part because of a 13 percent decline in refinancings.

The refinancing decline came despite fixed interest rates reaching record lows during the year, remaining below 4 percent.

Refinancing volume fell primarily because many borrowers could not qualify for loans because of home-equity losses. Nearly 23 percent of all borrowers owed more on their mortgages than their properties were worth.

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