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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.

Defaults Rise on 2nds, Fall on 1sts

3.24% 1st-mortgage default rate in July

Aug. 17, 2010

By staff

The monthly default rate climbed on second mortgages, though first mortgage late payments continued lower for the seventh consecutive month.

First mortgage defaults were 3.24 percent during July, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices report released today. First mortgages are the biggest category in the indices.

The indices were determined based on Experian's consumer credit database from information submitted by banks and mortgage companies. The findings reflect around $11 trillion in outstanding loans from 11,500 lenders.

Delinquency was down from 3.27 percent in June. Defaults on first liens have fallen every month since December 2009, when the rate stood at 4.76 percent.

In July 2009, the first mortgage default rate was around 5.32 percent.

The second-mortgage default rate leapt to 2.77 percent from 2.41 percent in June.

But defaults on seconds were down from approximately 3.94 percent a year prior.

The composite index, which also reflects bank card and automobile financing, indicated a 7 percent jump from June in New York and a 3 percent decline in Los Angeles.

"After seeing consumer credit defaults decline in recent months, this data shows rising defaults in four of the five highlighted cities and nationally in second mortgages and auto loans," David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in the report. "While it is too soon to tell if this is a momentary aberration or a major shift, combined with some economic news these data do raise concerns."

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