As of the end of December, 6.87 million mortgages in the United States were delinquent or in the process of foreclosure, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS).
The company provided the media with a preview of its soon-to-be-released mortgage performance report this week, covering data through the end of last month.
The numbers show that while the nation's volume of non-current home loans remains elevated, it's been steadily declining for several months now. LPS reported that 6.92 million mortgages were delinquent or in the process of foreclosure at the end of November, and in October, it was just above 7 million.
Of the 6.87 million mortgages in the country that were behind on payments at the end of last year, 2,196,000 have been referred to an attorney for foreclosure,
according to LPS' analysis. Another 4,674,000 are 30 or more days delinquent but not yet in foreclosure, with 2,117,845 of these at least 90 days overdue.
LPS says the nation's total mortgage delinquency rate Ã¢â‚¬" which includes loans at least a month past due but not yet pushed to a foreclosure attorney Ã¢â‚¬" stood at 8.83 percent as of December month-end. That's down 2.1 percent from November, and 17.9 percent below the delinquency rate a year earlier.
LPS defines the foreclosure inventory rate as loans that have been referred to a foreclosure attorney but have not yet reached the final stage of foreclosure sale. That rate was 4.15 percent at the end of December. The foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate rose 1.7 percent from November and is up 9.3 percent year-over-year in LPS' study.
The company's data show the states with the highest percentage of non-current loans (defined as the total number of foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of all active loans in that state) include: Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Georgia, and New Jersey.
The lowest percentage of non-current loans can be found in: Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
LPS' mortgage performance results are derived from its loan-level database of nearly 40 million mortgages. The company plans to provide a more in-depth review of this data in its December _Mortgage Monitor_ report, scheduled for release February 4.