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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 Decline Gaining Momentum

60-day rate drops 29 BPS between Q1 and Q2

Aug. 8, 2012

By staff

Late payments on home loans continued to fall in the second quarter, and fertile housing market conditions position the country's collective mortgage portfolio for further improvement. But despite the favorable trend, especially in some of the nation's worst markets, there is still some distance to reaching pre-recession delinquency levels.

A report released Wednesday indicated that the 60-day delinquency rate on mortgages was 5.49 percent in the second quarter.

Three months earlier, delinquency of at least two months stood at 5.78 percent. It was the second consecutive quarter that the rate of past-due payments was lower.

TransUnion, which produced the report, noted that all but five states participated in the second-quarter improvement, while more than three quarters of metropolitan areas were better.

But a long and winding road remains before reaching normal default levels.

"The rate of the decline is still not at a pace that will push levels significantly closer to pre-recession norms," said TransUnion Group Vice President of U.S. Housing Tim Martin in the report. "The pace of improvement should pick up when we review third quarter results, helped by a few months of relatively good news on home prices, this year's resurgence in refinance activity related to HARP 2.0 and record low mortgage interest rates."

The 60-day rate was 5.82 percent in the second quarter of last year.

Arizona and California had the biggest year-over-year improvement. Arizona's rate fell from 7.78 percent a year ago to 6.14 percent in the most recent period, while California dropped from 7.83 percent to 6.13 percent. Two years ago, delinquency in both states was in the double digits.

At 13.48 percent, second-quarter delinquency was highest in Florida. Nevada's 10.85 percent was next, then 8.15 percent in New Jersey and 6.79 percent in Maryland.

North Dakota's 1.32 percent delinquency rate was the lowest in the nation.

"TransUnion's forecast predicts mortgage delinquency rates will maintain their downward trajectory for the remainder of 2012," the report said.

Martin explained that the forecast is based on stabilizing home prices and "extremely low" interest rates.

The average U.S. mortgage size was $188,341 in the second quarter, up slightly from $188,196 in the first quarter. Washington, D.C.'s, $374,709 average was higher than all states, while West Virginia's $106,533 was lowest.

TransUnion's statistics were based on its database of 27 million consumer records each with 200 credit variables.

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