Home prices fell in December to near 2009 lows

A housing counselor speaks on foreclosure prevention to distressed homeowners at a housing fair in Thornton, Colo.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: To the housing market now where things are getting worse. A closely-watched index out this morning says home prices in 11 major U.S. cities have fallen to their lowest levels since the housing bubble popped.

Marketplace's Janet Babin reports:


JANET BABIN: The Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index of home prices fell in December from November in all but one of the 20 cities tracked by the report.

On top of that, there's word that some of the banks that most aggressively sold sub-prime mortgage loans, may soon see civil litigation from federal regulators.

Former executives of failed Washington Mutual bank could be next in line to face litigation from the FDIC. Christopher Whalen with Institutional Risk Analytics says more will suits could follow this one:

CHRISTOPHER WHALEN: There's still 800 banks on the troubled list. If half of those fail, I would guess at least half of the failed banks will see litigation by the FDIC against the officers and directors.

Whalen expects the 4 biggest banks to receive federal help: CitiBank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan could be next.

Oh, and the housing market? The only metro area to see a gain in December housing prices was Washington.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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