MBA: Delinquencies Hit Record 7.88% in Q4

Mortgage delinquencies piled up at record pace in the fourth quarter of 2008, hitting an all-time, seasonally-adjusted high of 7.88 percent of loans outstanding, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. The delinquency rate, which includes loans that are at least one payment past due but not yet in foreclosure, was up from 6.99 percent in the third quarter and 5.82 percent a year ago. The volume of loans in the foreclosure stage jumped 3.30 percent, also reaching a new record high, according to the MBA’s report. “Unfortunately, the mortgage sector continues to experience increases in the delinquency rate due to worsening economic conditions in both the labor and financial markets,” said Keith Carson, a senior consultant in TransUnion’s financial services group. “When it’s a loan structure issue, you can deal with that, but when it’s an unemployment issue, unless you go out and find them a job there’s not much you can do,” Jay Brinkmann, American CoreLogic’s chief economist told Bloomberg. “Eventually that loan will go into foreclosure.” The combined percentage of loans in foreclosure and loans past due in the fourth quarter was 11.18 percent, the highest since the MBA began tracking delinquencies in 1972. The percentage of loans 60 days past due and 90 days or more past due, also broke records set last quarter. On Monday, Housing Wire reported that TransUnion recorded a 53 percent rise in fourth-quarter delinquencies, bringing the national delinquency average, based on their findings, to 4.58 percent of outstanding loans — a seemingly astonishing figure, yet still well below MBA’s findings. Information for TransUnion’s analysis is pulled quarterly from approximately 27 million anonymous, individual credit files. TransUnion found that delinquency rates in the fourth quarter were highest in Florida and Nevada, sitting at 9.52 percent and 9.01 percent, respectively. The lowest mortgage delinquency rates were found in North Dakota, at 1.21 percent, and Alaska, at 1.74 percent. Write to Kelly Curran at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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