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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.

Credit Conditions Continue to Thaw

90-day first mortgage delinquency down 1.56%

July 26, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Serious delinquency has declined over the past year. At the same time, more homeowners are taking out credit lines against their residences. Rising home prices are supporting improved credit conditions.

Loan delinquency of at least 90 days on first mortgages, including loans in foreclosure, was 4.14 percent in the second quarter.

Past-due payments have subsided substantially from June 30, 2012, when the 90-day rate was 5.70 percent.

The statistics were discussed in the National Consumer Credit Trends Report from Equifax.

On home-equity loans, the 90-day rate finished last month at 3.31 percent. A year earlier, HEL delinquency was 4.16 percent.

Serious delinquency on home-equity lines-of-credit finished the first half at 1.75 percent, 55 basis points better than at the same time last year.

"The turnaround in home price trends over the past year is having a substantial impact on mortgage delinquency rates," Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said in the report. "As more and more homeowners find themselves back in positive equity, the incentive to default is strongly tempered."

Equifax said that $28.4 billion in new HELOC credit was opened from January through April of this year, a 17 percent increase over the same period last year.

The first four months of 2013 saw 297,600 new HELOCs opened, up more than 11 percent from the year-earlier period.

"Both new loans and new credit year-to-date in April 2013 are four-year highs," Equifax said.

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