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Stories about mortgage servicers, delinquency and f o r e c l o s u r e s. Coverage of servicing lawsuits and loan servicing technology.

Delinquency Down Despite Deteriorating Foreclosures

Q4 delinquency 13.56%

Feb. 17, 2011

By staff

An increase in foreclosure activity was more than offset by an improvement in residential delinquency. Florida may have the worst foreclosure problem, but it was another state in the South that has the highest default rate excluding foreclosures.

Residential delinquency of at least 30 days, including foreclosures, was 13.56 percent on an unadjusted basis in the fourth quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday. The default rate was down from 13.78 percent reported for three months earlier.

Delinquency closed out 2009 at 15.02 percent.

MBA said the number of U.S. mortgages covered in the survey fell to 43,579,051 on Dec. 31 from the third quarter's 43,967,725. Prime mortgages accounted for 31.9 million of the latest total, subprime loans numbered 4.2 million and Federal Housing Administration mortgages totaled 6.1 million. Another 1.3 million loans were guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prime mortgage delinquency improved to 9.15 percent from the third quarter's 9.75 percent, while the subprime rate fell to 37.54 percent from 39.96 percent.

On FHA-insured loans, total delinquency was 15.56 percent, better than 15.84 percent during the previous period.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, total delinquency for all loan types finished December at 12.85 percent.

The unadjusted data reflected 30-day delinquency, excluding foreclosures, of 8.93 percent. The rate was better than the third quarter's 9.39 percent.

This rate excluding foreclosures was highest in Mississippi at 13.30 percent and lowest in North Dakota at 3.71 percent.

U.S. foreclosures climbed to 4.63 percent from the prior period's 4.39 percent.

"As we predicted last quarter, the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process increased in the fourth quarter, largely due to the foreclosure paperwork issues that were being addressed in September and October," MBA Vice President for single family research Mike Fratantoni said in the report. "These issues caused a temporary halt in foreclosure sales, particularly in states with judicial foreclosure regimes, such as New Jersey, Florida and Illinois."

Florida's 14.18 percent foreclosure rate was the highest among all of its counterparts, and North Dakota's 1.11 percent was the best rate.

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