Spike in early past-due loans leads to delinquency rate jump

April saw 6.1% of mortgages at least 30 days past due, marking the highest overall delinquency rate since January 2016, CoreLogic reported.

Per the company’s latest Loan Performance Insights Report, the April delinquency rate spiked 2.5 percentage points from the month prior, with the coronavirus crisis continuing to make it difficult for many borrowers to meet their monthly loan payments. Year over year, the delinquency rate is up 2.5 percentage points from April 2019, ending 27 straight months of annual decreases in the overall past-due rate.

Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said that more growth in the delinquency rate could be on the way in the near term.

“As the true impact of the economic shutdown during the second quarter of 2020 becomes clearer, we can expect to see a rise in delinquencies in the next 12-18 months — especially as forbearance periods under the CARES Act come to a close,” Martell said.

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Every state saw its overall delinquency rate grow annually, with New York logging the most growth at 4.7 percentage points. The year-to-year increase brought the Empire State’s past-due rate to 10%, highest in the country. Other states with large annual increases include New Jersey (up 4.6 percentage points), Nevada (4.5 points) and Florida (4.0 points).

April’s delinquency rate rise was driven largely by a surge in early-stage delinquencies, defined as mortgages 30-59 days past due. The share of early-stage delinquencies was 4.2% in April, up from 1.7% in April 2019.

The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due jumped to 3.4% in April, highest in at least 21 years. The prior high was 2%, posted in November 2008.

Notably, while the rate of loans hitting early stages of delinquency is on the rise, the serious delinquency rate continues to hover around recent lows. The share of mortgages 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure, is 1.2%, down from 1.3% in April 2019. It’s the fifth consecutive month that the serious delinquency rate hit its lowest level since June 2000.

The foreclosure inventory rate — the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process — was also down year over year, retreating from 0.4% in April 2019 to 0.3% in April 2020. It’s the lowest foreclosure rate in at least 21 years.


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