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Record U.S. Delinquency

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Quarterly delinquency on residential loans jumped nearly 125 basis points to the highest level on record. New foreclosure filings were up by more than one-fifth.

Seasonally adjusted delinquency of at least 30 days, excluding foreclosures, on residential mortgages climbed to 9.12 percent in the first quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today in its National Delinquency Survey. The rate of late payments jumped from the fourth quarter’s 7.88 percent and 6.35 percent in the first-quarter 2008.

“The seasonally adjusted rate is the highest in the MBA’s records going back to 1972,” the report said.

The survey reflected data on 45 million first mortgages — including around 35 million prime loans, 5 million subprime mortgages and 4 million FHA loans — secured by one- to four-unit residential properties.

Delinquency was highest in Nevada, where it stood at 11.75 percent, followed by Mississippi, at 11.70 percent. Next was Florida, with 10.67 percent; then Michigan, which stood at 10.43 percent; and Georgia, with 10.07 percent.

Prime delinquency rose to 6.06 percent from the fourth quarter’s 5.06 percent, while subprime delinquency increased to 24.95 percent from 21.88 percent. FHA late pays were 13.84 percent, slightly more than 13.73 percent in the prior quarter.

Serious delinquency, which reflects just loans that are either 90 days or more past due or in the foreclosure inventory, rose to 7.24 percent from 6.30 percent in the fourth quarter and 4.03 percent in the first-quarter 2008. Serious delinquency, which was not adjusted, ended the period at 4.70 percent on prime loans and 3.37 percent on FHA loans. The rate on subprime loans was 24.88 percent, while it was 36.46 percent on subprime ARMs.

MBA said foreclosures started during the first quarter rose to 1.37 percent from 1.08 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.01 percent a year earlier. MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann explained that foreclosures had previously remained flat as various moratoria were in place.

“Now that the guidelines of the administration’s loan modification programs are known, combined with the large number of vacant homes with past due mortgages, the pace of foreclosures has stepped up considerably,” Brinkmann stated.

New foreclosures were highest in Nevada at 3.35 percent — followed by Florida’s 2.79 percent, Arizona’s 2.52 percent and California’s 2.15 percent. No other state was above 2.00 percent.

Prime foreclosure starts were 0.94 percent, new FHA foreclosures were 1.10 percent and new filings on subprime loans were 4.65 percent.

“The foreclosure rate on prime fixed-rate loans has doubled in the last year,” according to the economist, “and, for the first time since the rapid growth of subprime lending, prime fixed-rate loans now represent the largest share of new foreclosures.”

Foreclosure data was not seasonally adjusted.

The inventory of foreclosures was 3.85 percent as of March 31, higher than 3.30 percent three months earlier and 2.47 percent 12 months earlier. The prime inventory was 2.49 percent, pending FHA foreclosures were 2.76 percent and the subprime inventory was 14.34 percent.

Florida’s 10.56 percent inventory rate was head-and-shoulders above any other state. Nevada’s 7.83 percent was a distant second, trailed by Arizona’s 5.56 percent, California’s 5.21 percent and 4.53 percent in Illinois

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