1 in 8 US Mortgages Falling Behind

This is an astonishing number:

“A survey found that one in eight U.S. households with mortgages was in foreclosure or behind on its mortgage payments during the second quarter, putting added pressure on programs aimed at preventing foreclosures.”

As previously discussed, subprime is no longer the main offender — Prime mortgages are becoming¬† delinquent at an accelerating pace:

“While foreclosure starts have slowed on the subprime loans that ignited the mortgage and banking crisis, loans extended to borrowers with good credit are deteriorating at a faster clip as falling home prices and mounting job losses weigh on more households.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its latest survey, released Thursday, showed that 13.2% of mortgages on homes with one to four units were at least a month overdue or in the foreclosure process in the April-to-June period, up from 12.1% in the first quarter and 9% a year earlier . . .

Deteriorating prime loans are increasingly behind the steady rise in delinquencies and foreclosures. Among prime loans, 9% were past due or in foreclosure at the end of June, up from 5.35% one year ago. For subprime loans, those for borrowers with weak credit records or high debts relative to income, the rate was 39.5%, compared with 30% last year.

Prime loans, however, accounted for 58% of foreclosure starts, up from 44% last year. Meanwhile, subprime mortgages accounted for 33% of foreclosure starts, down from 49%. Prime fixed-rate mortgages, usually considered among the safest of all loan types, accounted for one in three foreclosure starts, up from one in five.” (emphasis added)

Note that this represents a significant shift — subprime was what drove the boom and eventual bust; the prime foreclosure issue is a function of the deep recession and job losses of the past 2 years.

As the chart shows, Foreclosure rates vary dramatically by region: its 1 in 20 in NJ, but closer to 1 in 8 in Florida.

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Sources:
Delinquencies Continue to Climb, Foreclosures Flat in Latest MBA National Delinquency Survey
MBA, 8/20/2009
http://www.mbaa.org/NewsandMedia/PressCenter/70050.htm

Souring Prime Loans Compound Mortgage Woes
NICK TIMIRAOS
WSJ, AUGUST 21, 2009
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125082120504548471.html

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