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Mortgage Delinquencies Hit a 5-Year Low

Christine DiGangi

Foreclosures and delinquencies in the housing market have dropped to levels as low as before the recession, according to the most recent Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey. The percentage of mortgages with at least one late payment dropped to a five-year low last quarter, with 6.41% of all outstanding home loans in delinquency.

The rate determined by the survey includes loans with at least one payment past due but does not include loans in foreclosure. At the same time, the foreclosure inventory hit a five-year low at 3.08% of mortgages in foreclosure at the end of the third quarter, and loans on which foreclosure actions started in the third quarter was at its lowest rate since 2007 — 0.61%.

Nearly every state saw its foreclosure rate drop last quarter, with New York and New Jersey as the only exceptions, and states with judicial foreclosure processes continue to have larger foreclosure inventories.

In a news release about the survey, Jay Brinkmann, the association’s chief economist and senior vice president of research and education, highlighted foreclosure and delinquency staff reductions at mortgage servicers as an indication of consumers’ continuing recovery from the housing crisis.

Serious delinquencies — those 90 days past due or in the process of foreclosure — were also down  this quarter at 5.65%, and about 75% of those loans were originated in 2007 or earlier, Brinkmann noted.

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