Mortgage Delinquencies Rise, but Pace Slows Somewhat

June 1, 2009 No Comments »

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Mortgage delinquencies rose for the ninth straight quarter, but the pace at which they did slowed a bit, according to credit bureau TransUnion.

The national delinquency rate, characterized by home loans 60 days or more past due, increased to 5.22 percent in the first quarter of the year, up from 4.58 percent last quarter and 3.23 a year ago, which means that many more foreclosures are likely on the way.

Delinquencies were highest in Nevada (11.6 percent) and Florida (11 percent), and lowest in North Dakota (1.5 percent), South Dakota (1.9 percent), and Alaska (2.14 percent).

Mortgage delinquency growth from quarter to quarter was highest in Hawaii (+34.4 percent), followed by
Oregon (+30.7 percent) and Nevada (+28.9 percent).

“The troubling news is that the mortgage delinquency rate continues to climb upward at an average quarterly pace almost doubling that experienced in the last recession,” said Keith Carson, a senior consultant in TransUnion’s financial services group, in a statement.

“For example, during the 2001 recession (which began in March and ended in November of the same year), the average quarter-to-quarter national mortgage delinquency growth rate was nearly 6.5 percent – compared to the nearly 12 percent quarter-to-quarter delinquency growth we are experiencing today.”

“However, this quarter’s results offer a glimmer of hope and a chance for optimism. For the first time since the recession began at the end of 2007, the quarterly growth rate for national mortgage delinquency decreased.”

Unfortunately, it’s unclear if this is the result of government tinkering and other loss mitigation efforts, which as we all know, seem to be doing little more than delaying the inevitable (re-default rate).

TransUnion expects the national mortgage delinquency rate to rise to seven percent by the end of the year, with Florida’s delinquency rate climbing to a staggering 18 percent.

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