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A Look at What Drove Up May’s Delinquency Rate

The national delinquency rate in May rose to 4.73% from April’s 4.66%, a 1.5% increase driven largely by the three-day Memorial Day weekend foreshortening available payment windows, the research team at Black Knight reports in its monthly "first look" at month-end mortgage performance statistics derived from its loan-level database representing most of the national mortgage market. 

Early-stage delinquencies (30-60 days past due) rose by 110,200 in May, while serious delinquencies (90 or more days but not yet in foreclosure) improved for the ninth consecutive month, according to Black Knight. 

Despite this improvement, the property data analysts report that almost 1.7 million first-lien mortgages remain seriously delinquent. That is 1.26 million more than there were prior to the pandemic. 

From the same report: Foreclosure inventory hit yet another new record low as both moratoria and borrower forbearance plan participation continue to limit activity, keeping foreclosure starts near record lows as well. They also reported that mortgage prepayments fell to their lowest level in more than a year, "driven by falling refinance activity as well as purchase-related headwinds." 

The report shows the number of properties that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure amounts to 2,511,000. That is a month-over-month change of 11,000 and an annual dip of 1,612,000. 

For seriously delinquent properties that are not in foreclosure, the number is 1,669,000, a monthly decline of 99,000 and a year-over-year increase of 1,038,000. 

The number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory is 148,000, a monthly change of -5,000 and an annual change of -52,000. 

Overall, they report, 2,659,000 properties are 30 or more days past due or in foreclosure. That is 6,000 more for the month and down 1,665,000 for the year. 

Regionally the highest delinquency rates are reported in Mississippi, 8.56%; Louisiana, 8.07%; Hawaii, 7.08%; Oklahoma, 6.76%; and Maryland, 6.64%. 

For a more detailed view of this month's data, visit the Black Knight newsroom. 

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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