New data released by Lender Processing Services (LPS) Monday show that while delinquencies continue to decline, an enormous backlog of foreclosures still exists with overhang at every level.
As of the end of February, foreclosure inventory levels stood at more than 30 times monthly foreclosure sales volume, indicating this backlog will continue for quite some time, according to LPS.
Ultimately, these foreclosures will most likely reenter the market as REO properties, LPS notes, putting even more downward pressure on U.S. home values.
The company reports that the average U.S. loan in foreclosure right now has been delinquent for a record 537
days. A full 30 percent of loans in foreclosure have not made a payment in over two years.
Still, LPS says its data show that banks' modification efforts have begun to pay off, as 22 percent of loans that were 90-plus-days delinquent 12 months ago are now current.
February's data also showed a 23 percent increase in Option-ARM [adjustable-rate mortgage] foreclosures over the last six months, far more than any other product type.
In terms of absolute numbers, Option-ARM foreclosures stand at 18.8 percent, a higher level than subprime foreclosures ever reached, LPS said.
In addition, deterioration continues in the non-agency prime segment.
According to LPS' report, both jumbo and conforming non-agency prime loans showed increases in foreclosures and were the only product areas with increases in delinquencies.
LPS reports that the total U.S. loan delinquency rate stood at 8.8 percent as of the end of February. The U.S. foreclosure inventory rate hit 4.15 percent.
By the company's calculations, there are a total of 6,856,000 mortgages in the United States that are considered non-current.