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2020 Delinquencies Hit Both Highs and Lows

Nationwide, 5.8% of mortgage loans are in some stage of delinquency, according to the latest monthly Loan Performance Insights Report from the property data analysts at CoreLogic, which covers data from December 2020.

That represents a 2.1-percentage point increase in the overall delinquency rate compared to one year prior when it was 3.7%. However, the researchers report that national overall delinquency has been declining month to month since June 2020.

According to CoreLogic, in December 2020, the U.S. delinquency and transition rates, and their year-over-year changes, were as follows:

  • Early-stage or less than 30 days delinquent: 1.4%, down from 1.8% in December 2019
  • Adverse: .5% down from .6% a year before.
  • Serious, or 90-plus days overdue: 3.9%, 1.2% higher than December 2019.
  • Foreclosure inventory rate: .3%, down from .4% during the same period of 2019.
  • The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due, or early delinquency, remained unchanged from December 2019 at .8%.

Last year launched with the lowest share of overall delinquencies since data recording started in 1999, CoreLogic reported, but as the pandemic and shelter-in-place directives spread, the rate doubled from 3.6% in March to 7.3% in May, the researchers added. As those initially affected by the pandemic and ensuing recession transitioned through stages of delinquency, serious delinquencies increased four-fold compared to pre-pandemic rates, and they peaked last August.

"The ongoing forbearance provisions and economic aid implemented at the start of the pandemic has proved helpful for families faced with financial insecurity,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

CoreLogic's Chief Economist Frank Nothaft confirms the correlation between areas suffering the highest unemployment and those with the fastest growing mortgage delinquencies.

“By state, Hawaii and Nevada had the largest 12-month spike in delinquency rates, both up 4.1 percentage points. They also had large increases in unemployment rates, up 6.6 percentage points in Hawaii and 5.5 percentage points in Nevada compared with 3.1 percentage points for the U.S. In Odessa, Texas, unemployment rose by 8.6 percentage points and delinquencies posted a 9.8 percentage-point jump,” he reported.

The full report is available on CoreLogic.com.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.
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