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4 Months of Improvement in Serious Delinquency

Mortgage News

First-mortgage delinquency improved for the fourth month in a row and stands at its lowest level since before the financial crisis. It’s a similar story for second liens.

Borrowers who were at least three months past due on their first mortgages accounted for 1.76 percent of all first-lien borrowers in April. It was the fourth consecutive month that 90-day delinquency improved and the lowest rate since July 2007.

Serious delinquency was 1.88 percent in March — when the rate fell 14 basis points from February.

In April 2011, the rate of late payments on first mortgages was 2.16 percent.

The statistics, culled from the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, are based on data from more than $1.45 trillion in receivables.

Second-mortgage delinquency also fell — to 0.93 percent last month from 1.03 percent in March. The rate hasn’t been this low in at least seven years.

The 90-day rate on junior liens was 1.51 percent a year earlier.

The report indicated that the composite rate, which also reflects delinquency on bank cards and auto loans, improved to 1.86 percent in April from the prior month’s 1.96 percent. The composite 90-day rate was 2.30 percent during the same month last year.

Among the five-biggest metropolitan statistical areas, Miami’s 3.14 percent 90-day delinquency rate was the worst, while Dallas’ 1.25 percent was lowest.

“Not only have we continued the general downward trend in consumer default rates that began in the spring of 2009, but we appear to be reaching new lows across many of the loan types,” stated David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P Indices. “The first four months of 2012 show broad-based declines in default rates with first- and second-mortgage, auto and composite default rates all reaching new post-recession lows.”

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