Newest data delivers mixed messages on delinquencies, foreclosures

The most recent tracking data is yielding mixed messages on home mortgage delinquency and foreclosure trends across the country.

The nationwide delinquency rate fell significantly across all major loan types and hit a near quarter-century low in the third quarter of this year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

A recent report from Attom Data Solutions, however, suggests that foreclosures ticked up this past October.

MBA’s national delinquency survey of one- to-four unit properties suggest that the delinquency rate declined to 3.97%, down 56 basis points from second-quarter 2019 and down 50 basis points compared to third-quarter 2018.

“Mortgage delinquencies decreased in the third quarter across all loan types — conventional, VA, and in particular, FHA,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of industry analysis. “The FHA delinquency rate dropped 100 basis points as weather-related disruptions from the spring waned. The labor market remains healthy and economic growth has been stronger than anticipated. These two factors have contributed to the lowest level of overall delinquencies in almost 25 years,” she said.

Notably, three Southern states — Alabama, West Virginia and Mississippi — that were slammed by storms this past spring had the largest decreases in delinquency rates between the second and third quarters of this year.

MBA also reported that the serious-delinquency rate, which measures loans that are 90 or more days overdue, hit its lowest level since third-quarter 2000 at 1.81%. That figure was down 14 basis points compared to the second quarter of this year and down 32 basis points on a year-over-year basis.

Attom Data Solutions, meanwhile, reported this week that foreclosures increased last month.

In October, there were a total of 55,197 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings — as measured by default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — up 13% from September, but down 17% from a year earlier, Attom Data reported.

 “While foreclosure activity across the United States rose in October, in looking at historical trends, October numbers tend to increase as lenders may be pushing filings through the pipeline before the holiday season,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer for Attom Data Solutions. “The latest number is still below where it was a year ago and less than 15 percent of what it was during the depths of the Great Recession.”


More Headlines