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Delinquency Falls in February

Mortgage News

A monthly increase in 30-day delinquency and foreclosures in process was more than offset by an improvement in 60- and 90-day accounts.

As of Feb. 28, there were 52,045,097 residential first mortgages outstanding, fewer than 52,121,623 a month earlier and 52,711,113 a year earlier, according to the latest LPS Mortgage Monitor. The findings were extrapolated from data maintained by Lenders Processing Services Inc., which claims to maintain records on 70 percent of outstanding U.S. first liens.

Residential delinquency of at least 30 days, including foreclosures and based on the number of loans, was 13.236 percent in February. In January, non-current home loans were 13.370 percent. Still, late payments were higher than 10.251 percent in February 2009.

LPS said that more than 1.1 million loans rolled from a current status in January to 30 days’ delinquent in February, with the rate of new problem loans climbed to its highest level in five years.

The number of loans that were at least 60 days’ delinquent fell to 736,476 in February from 812,211, while 90-day accounts fell to 2,573,847 from 2,584,294 in January.

But the number of 30-day accounts climbed to 1,791,633 from 1,791,484. In addition, loans in foreclosure rose to 1,786,613 from 1,780,917, while the foreclosure rate was a record 3.433 percent — higher than 3.417 percent the prior month and 2.281 percent the prior year.

“As a result of the federal government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, delinquent loans that were modified and that remained current through HAMP’s three-month trial period — called ‘cures-to-current’ — have increased,” the announcement stated. “Advanced delinquency rolls, however, remain elevated from a historical perspective.”

In all, around 8.0 million loans were either at least 30 days’ delinquent or in real-estate-owned status as of Feb. 28, edging down around 1 percent from the prior month.

The states with the highest non-current rates were Florida, at 23.8 percent; Nevada, which had a 23.3 percent rate; and Arizona, where delinquency was 16.3 percent. No. 4 Mississippi had a 17.5 percent rate, and No. 5 California came in at 15.3 percent.

North Dakota’s 4.7 percent was the best of any state.

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