It looks as though escalating past due mortgages may be a thing of the past for the ""Federal Housing Administration"":http://www.fha.gov (FHA). The federal mortgage insurer's delinquency rate dropped again in April, marking the third straight month of declines.[IMAGE]
According to FHA's latest ""operations report"":http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/comp/rpts/ooe/olcurr.pdf, as of April 30, 527,504 mortgages had spent at least 90 days in a delinquent status, yielding a serious default rate of 8.5 percent. That's down from 8.8 percent in March and 9.2 percent in February.
The FHA is not the only government-backed mortgage business to see its delinquencies drop off. ""Fannie Mae"":http://www.dsnews.com/articles/fannie-maes-delinquency-rate-falls-for-first-time-in-three-years-2010-05-28 said last week that the percentage of its loans 90 or more days past due dropped 7 basis points to 5.47 percent, while[COLUMN_BREAK]
""Freddie Mac"":http://www.dsnews.com/articles/freddie-macs-delinquency-rate-falls-for-second-consecutive-month-2010-05-25 reported a 7 basis point drop between March and April to 4.06 percent.
FHA says it has paid 153,540 claims so far this fiscal year. Of those, 89,822 were loss mitigation retention claims, and 55,653 were for property conveyances.
During the month of April, the FHA received 215,578 applications for mortgage insurance, down 12.5 percent from the previous month. This total consisted of 150,935 purchase cases, 56,474 refinance applications, and 8,169 reverse mortgages. Seventy of the refinance apps were part of the agency's Hope for Homeowners (H4H) program.
In April, the annual rate for single-family applications was estimated to be 2,296,400 -- slightly below March, but roughly in the same range as the last several months.
The federal agency endorsed 126,316 mortgages in April with an aggregate face amount of $22.9 billion. Of these, 84,723 were purchase money mortgages, 36,082 refinance mortgages, and 5,511 reverse mortgages.
With respect to the purchase cases, 67,218 were for first-time homebuyers.
During April, 3,045 adjustable rate mortgages were endorsed -- most having 5-year period terms.
At the end of April, FHA had 6,192,885 single-family mortgages in force with a scheduled outstanding balance of $820 billion.