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Weiss: Banks holding billions in foreclosures

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America each had more than $20 billion in single-family mortgages foreclosed on or in the process of foreclosure as of midyear, according to a report by Weiss Ratings.

And, Weiss found that, for each dollar the banks held of mortgages already in foreclosure, they had more than $2 in mortgages 30 days or more past due, which means at least a portion of them will end up in foreclosure.

“These figures tell us that the biggest players are not only in deep, but could sink even deeper into the mortgage mayhem,” said Martin D. Weiss, chairman of Jupiter-based Weiss Ratings, in a news release.

JPMorgan Chase had the largest volume of mortgages in foreclosure or foreclosed on, at $21.7 billion. It had an additional $43.4 billion in mortgages past due.

Wells Fargo followed with $20.5 billion in foreclosure or foreclosed on, and $48 billion in mortgages past due.

Overall, including all foreclosed and delinquent categories, Bank of America has the largest volume of bad mortgages among U.S. banks, with $74.9 billion, while Wells Fargo has the second largest, with $68.6 billion, according to Weiss.

Other banks are less heavily exposed.

For example, Citibank has $6.3 billion in foreclosures and $19.2 billion in past-due mortgages, for a total of $25.6 billion.

Other banks are as follows:

  • U.S. Bank: $4.2 billion in foreclosures or foreclosed properties and $5.3 billion in mortgages past due.
  • PNC Bank: $3.4 billion in foreclosures or foreclosed properties and $5.5 billion in mortgages past due.
  • SunTrust Bank: $3.2 billion in foreclosures or foreclosed properties and $4.1 billion in mortgages past due.
  • Branch Banking and Trust Co.: $2 billion in foreclosures or foreclosed properties and $2.2 billion in mortgages past due.
  • Fifth Third Bank: $1.1 billion in foreclosures or foreclosed properties and nearly $1.2 billion in mortgages past due.
  • Regions Bank: $1 billion in foreclosures or foreclosed properties and $1.1 billion in mortgages past due.

Among banks with $1 billion or more of mortgages already foreclosed or in process of foreclosure, Wells Fargo has the greatest exposure to bad mortgages in proportion to its capital.

For each dollar of Tier 1 capital, the bank has 75.4 cents in bad mortgages, or a ratio of 75.4 percent. The equivalent ratios for JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and SunTrust are 66.8 percent, 66 percent and 57.6 percent, respectively, according to Weiss.

Bank of America said this week it was planning to lift the moratorium it imposed on foreclosures as early as next week in 23 states where foreclosures must be filed through the court system.

The moratorium on foreclosure by several of the nation’s biggest banks was initially imposed in light of suspected problems in the way that foreclosure affidavits were processed.

Vickee Adams, spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, said Weiss Ratings is not a sanctioned ratings agency, and defended her bank’s financial strength. “A lot of information is available on our financial standing.”

Executives at SunTrust, Regions Bank and PNC declined to comment. Executives at the other banks could not be reached for comment.
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