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Mortgage Delinquencies And Foreclosures Rise In Third Quarter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 3, 2001)-The share of homeowners paying their mortgages late, as well as the percentage of mortgages in the foreclosure process increased in the third quarter of 2001, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA).

In MBA's latest National Delinquency Survey (NDS), the delinquency rate for loans on one- to four-unit residential properties was 4.87 percent in the third quarter of 2001, up 24 basis points from the second quarter of 2001. The percentage of loans in which foreclosure started during the quarter rose 2 basis points to 0.38 percent, while the percentage of loans in the process of foreclosure at the end of the quarter rose 4 basis points to 0.95 percent.

Douglas G. Duncan, MBA's Chief Economist, attributes the higher delinquency rate to the economy entering a recession, resulting in increasing unemployment. The events of September 11 may have also played a factor in driving up short-term delinquencies.

"The weakening GDP and job losses in the technology and manufacturing sectors have affected homeowners' ability to keep their mortgage payments current," said Duncan.

The delinquency rate increased for each of the three loan types during the third quarter of 2001. The rate for conventional loans was 3.13 percent, up 20 basis points from the previous quarter, and the rates for FHA and VA loans were 11.36 percent and 8.11 percent-up 57 and 48 basis points-respectively.

The inventory of loans in the process of foreclosure at the end of the quarter increased for each of the loan types. The percentage of conventional loans in foreclosure increased 2 basis points to 0.70 percent, while the percentage of FHA loans in foreclosure increased 14 basis points to 1.94 percent. The percentage of VA loans in foreclosure rose 5 basis points to 1.25 percent.

On a smaller sample of loans, the NDS found that the delinquency rate for both fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) increased in the third quarter. The rate rose 18 basis points to 3.97 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and rose 30 basis points to 6.26 percent for ARMs.
The NDS, which has been conducted since 1953, currently covers more than 32 million loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties, representing about half of all "first-lien" residential mortgage loans outstanding in the United States. Loans surveyed were reported by approximately 130 lenders, including mortgage bankers, commercial banks, thrifts, and life insurance companies. Data are adjusted using the Census Bureau's X-12-ARIMA seasonal adjustment program; historical data may have been revised accordingly.

MBA is the national association representing the real estate finance industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation's residential and commercial real estate markets, to expand homeownership prospects through increased affordability, and to extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters excellence and technical know-how among real estate finance professionals through a wide range of educational programs and technical publications. Its membership of approximately 2,800 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, life insurance companies, and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA's Web site: www.mbaa.org.

Laura Armstrong

Tisha Richardson

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