The housing meltdown may have been worse than previous reports showed
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: At the top of the hour, we’ll get a glimpse at housing prices in major cities across the country. The last Case-Schiller home price index was a big, fat downer. But bad enough as it was, there are new reports that say selling your house is even tougher than you might’ve thought.
Reporter Janet Babin is with us now live to talk about it. Hi Janet.
JANET BABIN: Good morning Steve.
CHIOTAKIS: All right, so are you telling me the housing crisis was actually worse than we thought? I mean, how is that even possible?
BABIN: It’s possible. There are reports that The National Association of Realtors’ overstated existing home sales figures, maybe going back several years now. Take 2010 for example. According to NAR data, existing-home sales fell 5 percent. But according to another data collecting firm, CoreLogic, existing home sales in 2010 fell more than twice that — by about 12 percent. There’s a big discrepancy there.
CHIOTAKIS: Yeah that is a big discrepancy. So, we’re also are getting word this morning, Janet, that former executives at the failed Washington Mutual bank, WaMu, as we all know it, could face a billion dollars in legal claims related to home loans that were fraudulent. Does that connect?
BABIN: Yeah, it looks like there could be more stones to unturn here. Bank expert Christopher Whalen with Institutional Risk Analytics expects we’ll see more litigation rom the FDIC against bank officers eventually
CHRISTOPHER WHALEN: The real question to me is why haven’t we seen similar actions, that we’re talking about here with Washington Mutual, for the top 4 banks, because that’s where the real criminality has occurred. Start with Citi, and work your way down.
Down, Whalen says to JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America. The FDIC would not comment this morning on that WaMu matter.
CHIOTAKIS: Janet Babin, reporting live for us this morning. Janet thank you.
BABIN: Thank you.
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