Focus shifts to HELOCs

We've been covering emerging problems in second liens for roughly a month now here at HW, including highlighting HELOC weaknesses in Bank of America Corp.'s recent earnings report and covering BofA's recent disclosure that losses on HELs are mounting and will be worse that the bank had expected even one month ago. Yesterday, we covered a warning by analysts at Moody's Investors Service, as well as highlighting HELOC problems now biting the bottom line of Dexia sub Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd. -- one of the few monolines that, so far, has stayed out of the credit fray. Today, via Calculated Risk, it looks like none other Bill Fleckenstein has caught on to the trend. Fleck, as many call him, alleges that servicer backlogs are understating HELOC losses thus far. The rest of the press should be picking up the HELOC meme shortly, if past experience is any indicator; we've usually been about one month or so ahead of major media on market trends.

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