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FHA Delinquency Down 3rd Consecutive Month

Late payments on government-insured mortgages have fallen each of the past three months. New originations fell and appear headed even lower, but declining volume on home-equity conversion mortgages is likely to reverse.

Endorsements by the Federal Housing Administration fell to 126,316 loans for $22.9 billion in April from March’s 131,978 loans for $24.4 billion, government data indicate. Activity has fallen by nearly a quarter from April 2009, when 162,351 loans were endorsed for $30.5 billion.

Refinances accounted for 29 percent of April’s endorsements, down from a one-third share in March. The average FHA processing time from application to closing continued to improve — to 6.6 weeks in April from 7.7 weeks the previous month.

From Oct. 1, 2009, to April 30, FHA endorsed 1,061,655 loans for $194.0 billion. By the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 30, endorsements are expected to reach 1,875,000 loans for $349.7 billion. On a calendar year basis, year-to-date volume was 549,207 loans.

The volume of home-equity conversion mortgage endorsements continued its descent — falling to 5,511 loans for $1.4 billion from March’s 7,024 loans for $1.9 billion. HECM volume was less than half the 11,660 HECMs endorsed for $3.1 billion in April 2009.

Section 203(k) endorsements inched up to 1,856 from 1,804 in March, while condominium endorsements fell to 6,330 from 7,541.

FHA received 215,578 applications last month, fewer than April’s 246,406. The decline was fueled by refinance activity, which was down a quarter. HECM applications, however, rose 10 percent.

The weighted-average FICO score on April originations was 697, unchanged from the prior month but higher than 672 the prior April.

The housing agency said 6,192,885 FHA loans were outstanding for $820.0 billion at the end of last month, more than 6,014,729 loans for $786.5 billion outstanding at the end of March. FHA outstandings stood at 4,975,546 loans for $591.2 billion a year earlier.

Delinquency of at least 90 days fell to 8.5 percent on April 30 from 8.8 percent on March 31. While late payments remain elevated above 5.9 percent on April 30, 2009 — last month was the third month in a row that delinquency improved.

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