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April 7, 2008

Mortgage association has trouble with its mortgage

Mortgage banker, finance thyself. Great story by Jeff Birnbaum in Saturday's Post on the Mortgage Bankers Association's problems with the financing of its Washington headquarters.

The result: The trade group is about to find it harder than it imagined to pay its own mortgage.

Scheduled to close on the building in the coming weeks, the association will have to pay millions of dollars more than it would have a year ago when it contracted to buy the 160,000-square-foot structure -- millions of dollars it is now less able to afford.

Critics also see irony -- and some justice -- in this predicament. "They are certainly getting what they deserve," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal research group. "Mortgage bankers encouraged people to take out mortgages that were very risky, and the result of that was a large number of the mortgages went bad and caused mortgage interest rates to soar. Now they are the victims of high mortgage rates and chaos in the market more generally."

Calculated Risk has the solution:

I guess they could always just walk away.


Posted by Jay Hancock at 10:56 AM | | Comments (0)
        

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About Jay Hancock
Jay Hancock has been a financial columnist for The Baltimore Sun since 2001. He has also been The Baltimore Sun's diplomatic correspondent in Washington and its chief economics writer. Before moving to Baltimore in 1994 he worked for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk and The Daily Press of Newport News.

His columns appear Tuesdays and Sundays.
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