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Mortgage Delinquencies Rise for Second Straight Month, Likely Due to Seasonality

delinquent-noticeThe national delinquency rate on residential mortgages rose for the second consecutive month, reaching its highest level in four months, according to Black Knight Financial Services“First Look” at Mortgage Data for September 2015 released Friday.

The percentage of delinquent mortgages (loans 30 days or more overdue but not in foreclosure) rose by 1.7 percent over the month in September, reaching 4.87 percent—the highest level since May 2015. This percentage represented about 2.45 million mortgages nationwide, with the monthly increase totaling about 44,000.

Despite the two consecutive months of increases for delinquencies, they are down by 14 percent from September 2014. One analyst from Black Knight said that new delinquencies are not likely to continue rising despite the two straight months of increases.

“New delinquencies have returned to historical norms and there’s nothing inherent in the market to suggest that this is more than a typical short term fluctuation,” said Ben Graboske, SVP of Black Knight’s Data & Analytics Division. “In fact, the delinquency rate increases of the past two months are part of a seasonal trend that we see on a yearly basis. In each of the past six years, the rate of new seriously delinquent inventory has peaked in September or October, and that is what we’re seeing this year as well.”

“New delinquencies have returned to historical norms and there’s nothing inherent in the market to suggest that this is more than a typical short term fluctuation.”

—Ben Graboske

Despite the monthly increase for 30-day delinquencies, the number of serious delinquencies (loans 90 days or more past due but not in foreclosure) and pre-sale foreclosure inventory continued to decline both over the month and the year, according to Black Knight. The number of seriously delinquent properties as of the end of September totaled 817,000, a decline of 8,000 properties from August and 273,000 properties from September 2014. Foreclosure inventory for September was 737,000, a drop of 1.5 percent over the month and 22.6 percent year-over-year.

The number of foreclosure starts during September was 79,900, which was an increase over the month of 4.8 percent but a drop of 16.2 percent from a year earlier, according to Black Knight. Overall non-current inventory (mortgage loans 30 days or more past due or in foreclosure) totaled approximately 3.2 million properties at the end of September, an increase of 33,000 properties from August but a decline of 606,000 properties from September 2014.

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.
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