Mortgage Damage Spreads
Big Bank Stocks Hit Again as Modern Finance Collides With the Legal System.
By NICK TIMIRAOS, JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG And DAN FITZPATRICK
WSJ.comOCTOBER 16, 2010.
Banks stocks were hammered on Friday for the second straight day as investors continued gauging the sector’s exposure to higher operating and legal costs.
Bank of America Corp. shares lost nearly 5%. Shares of Wells Fargo & Co. also fell nearly 5%, while J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. fell 4% and Citigroup Inc. lost nearly 3%. And the cost of protecting against the default of bank bonds continued to surge.
BofA and J.P. Morgan said they temporarily suspended foreclosure sales as they review procedures, while other big banks have said they are reviewing files but haven’t promised to freeze foreclosures. But even here, bankers are having trouble slamming on the brakes.
Banks still are referring some loans to foreclosure in states where they issued suspensions, despite the moratoria. This week in Illinois, Florida and Ohio, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase continued proceedings that allow them to sell foreclosed homes at public auction, according to court clerks.