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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.

2nd Mortgage Delinquency Inches Up as 1st Mortgage Lates Drop

90-day first-mortgage delinquency down 10 BPS in February

March 19, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

The rate of serious delinquency on first liens improved again last month, but the story was different for second liens. Among the biggest metropolitan areas in the country, the city with the lowest delinquency rate saw deterioration, while the area with the highest rate improved.

First mortgages that were past due at least 90 days accounted for 1.48 percent of all first mortgages outstanding in February.

The first-mortgage delinquency rate declined from the previous month, when the 90-day rate was 1.58 percent.

Compared to the same month in 2012, first mortgage delinquency has improved by 54 basis points.

The delinquency rate was based on the S&P/Experian Credit Default Indices.

Unlike with first mortgages, second-mortgage performance deteriorated last month.

Junior liens that were past due at least three months accounted for 0.71 percent of the entire U.S. book of business, worsening from the 0.69 percent rate in January.

But delinquency on second mortgages improved from February 2012, when the 90-day rate was 1.20 percent.

The composite consumer credit default index, which additionally factors in performance on bank cards and auto loans, fell to 1.55 percent from 1.63 percent a month earlier and 2.09 percent a year earlier.

"These trends are consistent with other economic news -- improvements in employment and overall economic activity and continuing gains in housing," David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the report. "Additionally, foreclosure activity continues to decline even though it remains at elevated levels compared to the period before the financial crisis."

Among the five largest metropolitan statistical areas, Miami's 3.21 percent composite delinquency rate was the worst, though that was better than 3.45 percent the prior month and 4.54 percent in the same month during the prior year.

Dallas, on the other hand, had the lowest composite rate: 1.26 percent. Delinquency in Dallas climbed from 1.19 percent in January but was lower than 1.61 percent in the same month during 2012.

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