Friday, August 14, 2009

Starting Early

It sounds like Bank Failure Friday might be starting early.

And this is what it might mean...

The Southern regional bank, based in Montgomery, Ala., is the largest remaining player in warehouse lending, which provides short-term financing to independent mortgage bankers. At one time, these mortgage bankers originated half of all U.S. home loans using these funds.

Today, the warehouse lending market is decimated. In 2007 it was worth an estimated $200 billion; now there is just $25 billion available -- 25% of which belongs to Colonial. If Colonial fails, those funds become even more scarce.