J.P. Morgan’s Mortgage Deep Troubles

J.P. Morgan bundled 4,209 loans from New Century Financial. (Reuters)

According to The Wall Street Journal, a 1,625-square-foot bungalow at 51 Perthshire Lane in Palm Coast, Fla., is among the thousands of homes at the heart of J.P. Morgan Chase JPM +0.34% & Co.’s $5.1 billion settlement with a federal housing regulator on Friday.

In 2006, J.P. Morgan bought one of two mortgage loans on the home made by subprime lender New Century Financial Corp. J.P. Morgan then bundled the loan with 4,208 others from New Century into a mortgage-backed security it sold to investors including housing-finance giantFreddie MacFMCC +7.73%

By the end of 2007, the borrower had stopped paying back the loan, setting off yearslong delinquency and foreclosure proceedings that halted income to the investors, according to BlackBox Logic LLC, a mortgage-data company.

The Palm Coast loan wasn’t the only troubled one in the New Century deal: Within a year, 15% of the borrowers were delinquent—more than 60 days late on a payment, in some stage of foreclosure or in bankruptcy—according to BlackBox. By 2010, that number exceeded 50%.

“That’s much worse than anyone’s expectations when the deal was put together,” said Cory Lambert, an analyst at BlackBox and former mortgage-bond trader. “It’s all pretty bad.”

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