Should mortgage rates vary by state according to risk? Fannie Mae is floating an idea (that will never go anywhere) that would see mortgage rates reflect the difficulty and length of time it takes to foreclose on a loan in each of the 57 states. Makes sense to me because interest rates are supposed to reflect risk, at least in part, and the risk of a lender recovering its money increases in states like Connecticut and New York that require a lengthy, drawn-out process to regain ownership of a home asset.
Here in Greenwich I’ve seen borrowers stretch out their tenancy for 3, 3 1/2 years, repeatedly filing frivolous defenses, switching lawyers (and thus delaying the foreclosure date) at the last minute, running into Bankruptcy Court time after time even though, each time, their case is thrown out, and so on. Stamford Superior Court judge Douglas Mintz, who is assigned to oversee our local foreclosure scheme, seems increasingly tolerant of these spurious tactics – the job must be getting to him, because he was an able jurist just a few years ago.
So if a lender faces a three-year delay in one state and a ninety-day wait in another, why shouldn’t it charge borrowers in the former more interest to compensate their loss?