Delinquencies, Foreclosure MBA National Delinquency Survey

May 20, 2010

The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 10.06 percent of all loans outstanding as of the end of the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 59 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2009, and up 94 basis points from one year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Associations (MBA) National Delinquency Survey. The non-seasonally adjusted delinquency rate decreased 106 basis points from 10.44 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 9.38 percent this quarter. The percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were started during the first quarter was 1.23 percent, up three basis points from last quarter but down 14 basis points from one year ago. The delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due but does not include loans in the process of foreclosure. 

 

The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the first quarter was 4.63 percent, an increase of five basis points from the fourth quarter of 2009 and 78 basis points from one year ago. This represents another record high.  The combined percentage of loans in foreclosure or at least one payment past due was 14.01 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, a decline from 15.02 percent last quarter.  The issue this quarter is that the seasonally adjusted delinquency rates went up while the unadjusted rates went down. Delinquency rates traditionally peak in the fourth quarter and fall in the first quarter and we saw that first quarter drop in the data.  The question is whether the drop represents anything more than a normal seasonal decline or a more fundamental improvement.  Most importantly, the normal seasonal drop is coming right at the point where we believe delinquencies could potentially be declining and the problem for the statistical models is det  ermining which is which, said Jay Brinkmann, MBAs chief economist. He adds, Simply put, fundamental market factors may be having a greater influence on the delinquency rates than is normally the case, but mathematical models have difficulty discerning the difference over a short period of time.


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