Serious mortgage delinquencies increase in January; first increase in more than 6 months

A report issued by Lender Processing Services, one of the countries largest loan servicers and aggregators of loan performance data, shows that the rate of serious mortgage delinquency (90+ days) in January was 8.90 percent, a slight increase from 8.83 percent in December and a 18.8 percent decrease from a year ago.

The foreclosure rate in January was 4.16 percent, a slight increase from 4.15 percent in December and a 7.9 percent increase from a year ago. Foreclosure “starts” were down 11.4 percent for the month and down 20.1 percent from a year ago. Unfortunately I think the starts are down due to many large lenders holding off on starting foreclosures while they make sure their documents are in order and not as a result of improved conditions. My theory here is supported by the fact that the average days a loan is delinquent before it is foreclosed on has now risen to 507 days, up from 410 days a year ago and 319 days two years ago.

Other highlights from the report:

  • Over 4.3 million home loans are seriously delinquent or in some stage of foreclosure
  • Average days delinquent for loans that are 90+ days delinquent is 334, an increase of almost 30 percent from a year ago when the average was 257 days.
  • Average days delinquent for loans that in foreclosure is 507 days, an increase of 23.6 percent from a year ago, 58.9 percent from two years ago and just over double the average from 3 years ago.

Source: LPS Mortgage Monitor - February 2011

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