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JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and BofA each hold more than $20 billion in foreclosures

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JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo Bank (WFC) and Bank of America (BAC) each reported more than $20 billion in single-family mortgages currently foreclosed or in the process of foreclosure as of midyear, according to Weiss Ratings. In addition, for each dollar these banks held of mortgages in ?foreclosure, they had additional exposure to more than $2 in mortgages that are 30 days or more past due. "Although only some portion of the past-due loans will ultimately go into 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 Weiss Ratings. Among all U.S. banks, JPMorgan Chase has the largest volume of mortgages in foreclosure or foreclosed with $21.7 billion. It has $43.4 billion in mortgages past due. Bank of America has a somewhat smaller volume of foreclosures ($20.3 billion), but it has a larger pipeline of past-due mortgages — $54.6 billion. Thus, 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. Other banks, despite their large size, are less heavily exposed. Citibank has $6.3 billion in foreclosures and $19.2 billion in past-due mortgages, or a total of $25.6 billion. The volume held by other large banks, such as U.S. Bank, PNC Bank (PNC), and SunTrust (STI) is smaller. "In addition to the volume of bad mortgages, the vulnerability of each bank to the foreclosure crisis depends on the capital and loan-loss reserves it has set aside to cover losses and other factors such as its earnings, liquidity, reliance on less-stable deposits, and the quality of its overall loan portfolio," Weiss said. 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%. The equivalent ratios for JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and SunTrust are 66.8%, 66% and 57.6%, respectively. Write to Kerry Curry.

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