Mortgage News: Deliquencies Up For 10th Straight Quarter

Mortgage loan delinquencies continue to increase, a suggestion of rising foreclosure rates ahead and continued home price declines. The “good” news — if you can call it that — is that the pace of delinquencies seems to be slowing.

TransUnion.com reports that mortgage loan delinquencies increased for the tenth straight quarter, hitting an all-time national average high of 5.81 percent for the second quarter of 2009. That’s up 11.3 percent from the previous quarter’s 5.22 percent average. The survey looks at loans which were at least 60 days late.

Mortgage borrower delinquency rates in the second quarter of 2009 were highest in Nevada (13.8 percent) and Florida (12.3 percent), while the lowest mortgage delinquency rates were found in North Dakota (1.5 percent), South Dakota (2.1 percent) and Alaska (2.4 percent). The three areas showing the greatest percentage growth in delinquency from the previous quarter were Wyoming (+27.8 percent), Utah (+22.2 percent) and Hawaii (+21.7 percent). However, there were some bright spots: North Dakota and Ohio both showed a decline in mortgage delinquency rates, down 0.66 percent and 0.22 percent from the previous quarter, respectively.

The average national mortgage debt per borrower dropped (0.86 percent) to $193,811 from the previous quarter’s $195,500. On a year-over-year basis, the second quarter 2009 average represents a 0.59 percent increase over the second quarter 2008 average mortgage debt per consumer of $192,681.

The area with the highest average mortgage debt per borrower was the District of Columbia at $360,891, followed by California at $359,442 and Hawaii at $314,495. The lowest average mortgage debt per borrower was in West Virginia at $97,979. Quarter to quarter, Alaska showed the greatest percentage increase in mortgage debt (+4.5 percent), followed by North Dakota (+2.2 percent) and Alabama (+1.5 percent). Areas showing the largest percentage drop in average mortgage debt were Ohio (-4.4 percent), Idaho (-3.7 percent) and Connecticut (-3.0 percent).

Due to a continued downward trend in housing prices throughout the year as well as high unemployment levels, TransUnion says it does not see national delinquency rates beginning to fall until the first half of 2010.

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