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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.

Nearly 1-in-4 FL Mortgages Delinquent

U.S. delinquency rate 13.5% in January

March 15, 2010

By staff

Late payments on home loans jumped 20 basis points during January, according to a new report that indicated nearly one-in-four loans were delinquent in the Sunshine State. Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration have seen more severe deterioration in new delinquency than overall mortgages. The national foreclosure rate, meanwhile, was unchanged.

Lender Processing Services Inc. reported in its February 2010 Mortgage Monitor that U.S. residential delinquency of at least 60 days climbed to 13.5 percent in January. A month earlier, the rate was 13.3 percent.

LPS said its figures were extrapolated from a database of 7.5 million delinquent loans. An additional 1 million properties were in real-estate-owned status. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm said its total repository includes 40 million loans.

January late payments reflected loan delinquency of 10.2 percent, rising from 10.0 percent. The foreclosure rate was 3.30 percent, the same as the prior month.

Around 346,000 borrowers became delinquent for the first time during January.

Florida led the states with the highest delinquency rate: 23.7 percent including foreclosures. Nevada followed with 22.9 percent, then Mississippi's 18.4 percent, Arizona's 16.3 percent and Georgia's 16.3 percent.

The lowest delinquency rate, 4.8 percent, was in North Dakota. Just 15 states had a delinquency rate under 10 percent.

Nearly a third of loans that have been delinquent for six months have not yet faced a foreclosure filing. Nearly a quarter of loans which have been delinquent at least 12 months haven't had a foreclosure filed.

Based on loans that were current as of Jan. 1, 2009, FHA-insured loans have deteriorated the most. A graph in the report indicated that around 8.5 percent of FHA loans that were current at the beginning of last year were at least 60 days delinquent as of Jan. 31. For all mortgages, that rate was just under 5 percent.

In January 2007, delinquent mortgages first defaulted -- on average -- around 27 months after origination. But the average loan age of newly delinquent loans has now risen to 46 months. While the announcement didn't address why the average age increased, a rise in negative equity among more seasoned vintages is likely a factor.

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