That’s right, the latest number crunch from risk management firm TransUnion points out that only for the second time since 2009, the national mortgage delinquency rate increased. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the number was 6.01%. That’s up from 5.88% in Q3 2011.
“To see that … fewer homeowners were able to make their mortgage payments is not welcome news,” said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing in TransUnion’s financial services business unit. “However, it was not unexpected.”
Oh, do tell, Mr. Martin.
“First, there tends to be a natural seasonality, evident well before the recession, of higher delinquencies in the fourth quarter; perhaps explained by borrowers balancing holiday spending vs. debt payments,” he said.
If there is a first, there must a second (it was not unexpected).
“Secondly, on the economic front, house prices continued to deteriorate in the fourth quarter and unemployment remained stubbornly high,” said Martin. “This combination leads to more negative equity in homes and reduced real personal income that can affect borrowers’ ability and willingness to pay their mortgages.
The mortgage delinquency rate (MDR) metric is includes borrowers 60 or more days past due in their mortgage payments.
And guess who tops the charts? Florida, with a staggering MDR of 14.27%, more than twice the national average. We are also more than two percentage points higher than the next worst state, Nevada, which clocks in at 12.07%. That points to more Florida foreclosures in the future.
There is some good news, however. Florida did not rank in the top three states showing the highest year-over-year increases, nor or we in the top 4 states showing the highest mortgage debt per loan.
So there’s that. Oh, and there’s this …
“The more encouraging news is that, when looking year over year, more homeowners are making their mortgage payments and the delinquency rate dropped over 6% since Q4 2010,” said Martin.
“While it is certainly good to see the rate dropping, at this pace it will take a very long time for mortgage delinquencies to get back to normal.”
Normal? I think we’ve all pretty much forgotten that such a thing exists.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Illustration: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
mortgage delinquency rate