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Current credit/liquidity meltdown (Countrywide, etc)...is a mortgage really impossible right now?

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Current credit/liquidity meltdown (Countrywide, etc)...is a mortgage really impossible right now?

I'm intrigued by the sudden credit meltdown that is all over the news and the excessive consequences that it may lead to.  NPR is talking non-stop about the mortgage market, and how the current environment is not only affecting sub-prime and Alt-A mortgages, but the entire credit industry.  Today an analyst claimed circumstances for Countrywide (who originates nearly 1/5 of the mortgages in this country including a mortgage on a duplex I own, lol) are so dire that if liquidity is not restored to the credit market, Countrywide may have to shut down operations within a week, although he claimed the goverment would likely bail them out before allowing the country's largest lender to go under, as that could spark a worldwide sell-off/run on banks. 
 
Now, these claims sound severely overblown to me, but I keep hearing similar Chicken Little warnings over and over.  Apparently in the past 3 weeks credit liquidity has dried up to such an extent that it's nearly impossible to get a mortgage (especially a jumbo mortgage) even if you have good credit, since Wall Street won't even touch the mortgage backed securities that banks have been using to finance more mortgages over the past five years.  Can anyone here verify this?  I just closed on a condo by the beach 5 weeks ago (I used Wells Fargo), and there were little or no signs of stresses on the mortgage industry, from what I could tell.  Has everything really gone down the crapper that quickly?
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Regular Contributor

Re: (Countrywide, etc)...is a mortgage really impossible right now?

In my opinion, a couple of things are happening here...

First, I'm NOT seeing "tons of foreclosures" on the market. I do live in a state where the real estate market is still strong with growing house values, but I'm not seeing all these so-called "sub-prime" borrowers losing their homes or walking away from mortgages.

In fact, I AM one of those homeowners. Are my rates adjusting? Yep. Is it a struggle? Yes. Am I refinancing? You bet. Can I find a lender who will work with me? Already did.

Countrywide is my current lender, but I am moving to NationStar Mortgage, a national lender under the Centex umbrella. Countrywide is in a pinch right now, but a lot of it comes from WITHIN Countrywide due to massive overhead, low morale among employees, years of predatory lending practices, and an executive branch that seems to constantly be rocked with one scandal after another.

There are other lenders who have gone under, too, but all-in-all I think this is a "correction" period where a lot of the "bottom feeder" type loan companies are finally reaping the seeds that they planted by being unscrupulous all along, and yes that includes Countrywide Home Loans.

I'm riding out this storm and will probably be ok after things calm down. It's a great time to buy, but you just gotta look a little deeper at who you take a loan from.
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Valued Contributor

Re: (Countrywide, etc)...is a mortgage really impossible right now?

The wild card and swing vote here is the overall economy. As long as the economy performs reasonably well, with decent employment levels and at least 3% growth, the subprime crisis is liable to be a mere disaster.

But if we get an oil shock or otherwise slide into a recession, all bets are off, and the crisis could snowball into a catastrophe relatively quickly.
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in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
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