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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.

After Q1 Peak, Delinquency Headed Lower

60-day delinquency rate expected to fall in 3 of 4 quarters next year

Dec. 7, 2011

By staff

Late payments on home loans are expected climb this quarter and during the first three months of 2012 then fall for the rest of the year, according to a new forecast. At least three states are expected to see an improvement of at least 40 percent, while a dozen other states are headed higher.

Mortgage delinquency of at least 60 days fell for six consecutive quarters as of the second-quarter 2011, when the rate was 5.82 percent.

But TransUnion, which issued the outlook Wednesday, reported earlier this month that the 60-day rate climbed 6 basis points during the third quarter to 5.88 percent. The company predicts that past-due payments will rise to 5.95 percent in the fourth quarter.

TransUnion's database includes 27 million randomly sampled consumer records.

The forecast has late payments peaking in the first quarter of next year at 6.02 percent.

After that, it's all downhill.

The Chicago-based credit reporting firm predicts that residential delinquency will decline each quarter for the rest of 2012. The improvement is expected despite continued pressure on home prices and unemployment.

TransUnion Group Vice President Tim Martin credited the bright outlook to improved credit quality on new originations, consumer confidence and the gross domestic product.

"If things go as expected, there are no additional negative
shocks to the U.S. economy and the average borrower's situation, mortgage delinquencies could fall as much as 16 percent in 2012 compared to 2011," Martin said in the report.

Next year's rosy outlook follows an expected 7 percent decline in 2011, the same as last year. The improving trend contrasts a more than 50 percent increase each year between 2006 and 2009.

Next year's delinquency improvement reflects a projected decline of 46 percent in Arizona, a 46 percent improvement in Wisconsin and a 40 percent drop in Colorado. But an increase is expected in 12 states and in Washington, D.C.

Florida is expected to finish next year at 13.20 percent, the highest of any state. After that is Nevada's 11.09 and the District of Columbia's 7.91 percent.

The lowest rates as of the fourth-quarter 2012 are expected to be in North Dakota, at 1.30 percent; South Dakota, where the rate is predicted to be 1.96 percent; and Wisconsin, which is forecasted to finish at 2.11 percent.

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