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Record U.S. Delinquency

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Two-month mortgage delinquency reached the highest level ever, though some signs of improvement emerged.

Average mortgage delinquency of at least 60 days was 5.81 percent in the second quarter, TransUnion.com reported today. Second-quarter activity was the highest ever and represented the 10th consecutive quarterly increase.

The data were derived from approximately 27 million randomly sampled credit files on U.S. individuals. The sampled data represented around 10 percent of credit-active U.S. consumers.

Late payments increased from 5.22 percent in the first quarter and 3.53 percent a year earlier. But TransUnion noted that the rate of delinquency growth fell for the second consecutive quarter, “an indication that the mortgage market is beginning to stabilize,” TransUnion executive FJ Guarrera said in the statement.

“This is particularly noteworthy, in that delinquency statistics are generally lagging indicators of the economic environment,” Guarrera added.

The findings were in line with data reported last month by HOPE NOW that indicated 60-day delinquency had risen to 5.85 percent in June from 5.38 percent at the end of the prior quarter and a revised 3.44 percent on June 30, 2008.

Nevada’s delinquency rate of 13.8 percent was higher than any other state, followed by Florida’s 12.3 percent, according to TransUnion. Jumping 28 percent from the prior period, Wyoming’s delinquency increased the most. Utah’s 22 percent rise and Hawaii’s 22 percent deterioration were respectively the second and third highest increases.

But North Dakota’s 1.5 percent delinquency rate was lowest, falling 0.66 percent from the first quarter.

The average U.S. borrower’s mortgage loan balance was $193,811, off from $195,500 the previous quarter. But the average balance has edged up from $192,681 a year prior.

Loans in Washington, D.C., averaged the highest: $360,891. California’s $359,442 was next, then Hawaii’s $314,495. West Virginia’s $97,979 average mortgage balance was at the low end of the spectrum.

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