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Prepping for a Delinquency Spike

Delinquencies declined by 0.4% year over year in February, according to the latest CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights report, however, a spike is expected as COVID-19 continues to contribute to job losses.

"Delinquency and foreclosure rates were at a generational low in February as the U.S. unemployment rate matched a 50-year low," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic. "However, the pandemic-induced closure of nonessential businesses caused the April unemployment rate to spike to its highest level in 80 years and will lead to a rise in delinquency and foreclosure. By the second half of 2021, we estimate a four-fold increase in the serious delinquency rate, barring additional policy efforts to assist borrowers in financial distress.”

In February, for the fifth consecutive month, no states posted a year-over-year increase in the overall delinquency rate, and Mississippi and Maine (both down 0.9 percentage points) recorded the largest declines. Only four metropolitan areas recorded small increases in overall delinquency rates and eight recorded increases in serious delinquency rates.

“After a long period of decline, we are likely to see steady waves of delinquencies throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021," said Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic. "The pandemic and its impact on national employment is unfolding on a scale and at a speed never before experienced and without historical precedent. The next six months will provide important clues on whether public and private sector countermeasures—current and future—will soften the blow and help us avoid the protracted, widespread foreclosures and delinquencies experienced in the Great Recession.”

On the quarterly level, by stage, the 30-day delinquency rate rose to 2.67%, a 50-basis-point increase that matches the third quarter of 2017 as the highest quarterly increase in the NDS series dating back to 1979, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The 60-day delinquency rate increased 7 basis points to .77%, and the 90-day or more past due delinquency bucket increased 3 basis points to .93%.

"The mortgage delinquency rate in the fourth quarter of 2019 was at its lowest rate since MBA’s survey began in 1979," said Marina Walsh, MBA’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. "Fast forward to the end of March, and it is clear the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting homeowners. Mortgage delinquencies jumped by 59 basis points, which is reminiscent of the hurricane-related, 64-basis-point increase seen in the third quarter of 2017."

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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