August 20th, 2009
03:24 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: 9% of all home loans are delinquent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/2009/08/20/news/companies/dvd_recall_walmart/walmart_durabrand_dvd_player.03.jpg caption="The CPSC and Wal-Mart recalled 1.5 million Durabrand DVD players because they have overheated and burst into flames."]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

The number of Americans who have fallen at least 30 days behind on their home loan payments inched up slightly between the first and second quarters of 2009, but jumped 44% compared on an annual basis.

That puts delinquencies at a record 9.24% of mortgages, according to the National Delinquency Report from the Mortgage Bankers Association. That represents more than 4 million of the 45 million borrowers covered by the report.

What the rate does not include, however, are loans already in foreclosure. Some 4.3% of all the mortgages are in that stage, up from 3.85% three months earlier and 1.55% from one year ago.

The combined percentage of loans past due and those already in foreclosure hit 13.16% during the quarter, the highest ever recorded by the MBA survey.

Weekly jobless claims rise

The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 15,000 last week, surprising economists.

The Labor Department says the number of new jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 576,000 last week, from a revised figure of 561,000.

Meanwhile, the number of people continuing to get benefits for one week one more rose by 2,000 to 6.24 million.

Workplace fatalities decline, suicides jump

This is something of a “good news, bad news, really bad news” story…

On-the-job fatalities dropped in 2008 - in part because the ongoing recession kept millions of workers at home.

Fatal work injuries totaled 5,071 in 2008, a 10% drop from 5,657 deaths the prior year.

 The steepest declines were in the construction industry, in which fatalities declined 20% to 969 from 1,204 in 2007. In the sub-category of residential building construction, fatalities dropped even further, by 28%, to 93 deaths.

 Workplace suicides, however, rose 28% to 251 deaths in 2008, the biggest increase since the bureau began tracking this information in 1992.

Wal-Mart recalling 1.5 million DVD players due to fire hazard

Wal-Mart is recalling about 1.5 million Durabrand DVD players because of a potential for the device to burst into flames, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said today.

Wal-Mart received 12 complaints of the DVD players overheating; in five of the cases, the overheating caused a fire that damaged property, according to a statement from the CPSC. No injuries have been reported.

The DVD players, imported from China, were sold at Wal-Mart stores from January 2006 through July 2009 for $29.

Consumers should stop using the DVD player immediately and return it to Wal-Mart for a full refund.

“Clunkers” headed for the junk yard

“Cash for Clunkers,” the successful federal program that has brought car buyers back to showrooms, is about to be scrapped. The Department of Transportation says the program will come to an end on Monday, August 24th at 8 p.m. EDT.

Auto dealers, among the biggest supporters of the program, are pulling out in large numbers, worried that they won't be reimbursed for the up to $4,500 they have advanced to each customer who trades in an old gas guzzler for a more fuel efficient model.

Dealers are complaining that slow processing of paperwork by the Department of Transportation has put them in a cash flow bind, requiring them to advance more than $1 billion so far.

They also worry that the delays in processing their applications could mean there are far more deals in the pipeline, a problem since the $3 billion allocated to “Cash for Clunkers” is already close to being exhausted.

According to the most recent DOT figures, there have been more than 457,000 deals so far, with claims of nearly $2 billion.

Gas prices drop

Gas prices declined 4-tenths of a cent to $2.624. This is the sixth consecutive decline.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded is down $1.49 (or 36.2%) from the record high price of $4.114 that AAA reported on July 17, 2008.

The highest gas prices are in Hawaii ($3.257). The cheapest are in South Carolina ($2.402).

Follow the money… on Twitter: @AndrewTorganCNN

Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Economy • Finance
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Never much good news in the finance department anymore. If Germany and the other European countries are pulling out of the recession maybe we ought to see what they did different from us and try it. Our deficit is so large now I would hate to see it get larger, but I don't see where the TARP or the stimulus bill have helped us any at all as of yet.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:06 pm |
  2. RLWellman

    It's so nice all this money that has been spent by the Government is helping citizens with their home loans. It's a lot like the help they are giving car manufactures with the cash for clunker program!

    August 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  3. Teresa, OH

    And the news the other day is the recession is showing signs of easing off, huh?

    August 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  4. RB McGrath

    Anderson. I owned a home. I sold it and paid it off 1 week before the market went to hell and I managed to save my credit. I am a single, white, working, self employed, female pulling in 40K a year on my ownwith a 800 fica score and excellent credit, and I can't get a home loan. That's what this country has come too. At this point, I don't care about who's getting forclosed on. I did everything right, and I'm the one getting punked!!

    August 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  5. adam

    Anderson Obama is going to blame President Bush for this. NOT NEWS.

    August 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  6. Michael C. McHugh

    I think the federal government needs to provide more low cost housing directly, cutting out all these middlemen. Maybe it should just set up a national housing bank as well, especially for people without the money to obtain regular housing on their own.

    August 20, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  7. Sue

    Anerson MUST get a new photo. He looks like he's posing for a porn site!!!! Man up, Anderson. Do the news, do NOT advertise.

    August 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  8. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    We have to make Congress pass more bills before it's too late.

    August 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  9. JC- Los Angeles

    As America falls into the abyss, it would be enlightening to know how Alan Greenspan is spending the $6 million book advance he received for penning failed policy.

    While history often repeats itself, it's horrifying to think that another book advance recipient is now also pitching policy.

    How bad can New Zealand be?

    August 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  10. earle,florida

    I must admit that I often solicit my ninety-year old mother for her valuable input/advise religously. Just recently I quizzed her regarding the "Great Depression",and what got her through those tumultuous years. Her response was short,and to the point,as usual. The "CCC-Program", which got started under the FDR Administration, put food on every families table,those directly effected by the great-depression,and gainfully employing our youth (the very fabric,and future of our country) through perilous times! Lastly,and most importantly,the mortgage lending banks (plain old boring local banks,and some large banks?) bought the mortgages back from their distressed borrowers (mom and pop,local mill worker & housekeeper) with a signed agreement (legalized binding affidavit) giving them (homeowners) finite-time to pay back a set prearranged payment until the economy was finally out of the doldrums,and they (the homeowners) were back on their feet financially. It was simplistic,with great results,allowing the original homeowners to buy back their houses,through the preconditioned binding arbitration agreement implemented & initiated years (beginning) ago. Her final words, everybody won!,

    August 20, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  11. joe

    Does this really surprise anyone – can anyone truly state they have benefited from the stimulus, from the bank bailout, from the promised green job creation. This country is falling further and further into debt thanks to Mr. Obama and we have nothing to show for it – many European nations are already exiting the recession and have spent a fraction of what we have to turn their economy around – maybe it is about time we realize the quickly passed policy decisions by Mr. Obama are flawed and we should not act so quickly to pass more legislation until issues are fully evaluated.

    August 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm |