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Home | News | Foreclosure

Survey: Delinquency, Foreclosure Inventory Rates Fall to Lowest Levels Since 2007

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Both the delinquency rate and the foreclosure inventory rate in Q4 2014 for residential mortgage loans fell to their lowest levels since 2007, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Delinquency Survey released Wednesday. The delinquency rate, which includes loans that are at least one payment past due but not loans in foreclosure, fell to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.68 percent in Q4 for all mortgage loans outstanding at the end of the quarter, the lowest level since the third quarter of 2007.

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Foreclosure Inventory Down Despite Rise in Starts

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Foreclosure inventory was way down nationwide year-over-year in January despite a 5.5 percent month-over-month increase in foreclosure starts, according to Black Knight Financial Services' First Look at January Mortgage Data. Foreclosure starts totaled 94,300 for January, which was the highest number since December 2013. January's total was a 5.5 percent increase from December and a slight increase of 0.2 percent from January 2014.

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Economist: Leverage Plays Major Role in Driving Foreclosures

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With the nation's homeownership rates similar to those of 50 years ago, the foreclosure rate is significantly higher compared to the early 1960s. The main reason for the increase in foreclosure risk while the homeownership rate remains little changed is leverage, according to CoreLogic chief economist Sam Khater. The economist noted that leverage remains unaddressed by those responsible for initiating housing policy, and he recommended in his study that they may want to consider the ability to manage leverage in order to obtain financial stability in the residential housing market.

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Foreclosures Continue Steady Nationwide Decline in December

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Foreclosures in the United States have been steadily declining for months nearly every way the numbers are broken down, and December was no exception, according to CoreLogic's December 2014 National Foreclosure Report released Tuesday. Foreclosure inventory nationwide dropped in December down to 552,000 from 840,000 in December 2013, a decline of 34.3 percent. As of the end of December 2014, approximately 1.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage were in some state of foreclosure – a decline from 2.1 percent from the previous December. The current foreclosure rate of 1.4 percent is the lowest level since March 2008.

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New FHA Policy Provides Foreclosure Alternative on Reverse Mortgages

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A new policy issued by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on Thursday under its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program will allow reverse mortgage lenders to delay calling HECMs from a surviving non-borrowing spouse following the death of the last surviving borrower. Such a delay on collection of the HECM from the surviving non-borrowing spouse would postpone the foreclosure process normally triggered by last surviving borrower's death. Under the new policy, reverse mortgage lenders have the option of assigning the HECM to HUD, thus allowing that spouse to remain in the home despite his or her non-borrowing status.

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