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How Mortgage Default Rates Are Trending

While first mortgage default stayed the same overall in November 2019, the most recent S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices revealed that default increased year over year, from 0.64% in November 2018 to 0.77% in November 2019.

Four of the five major metropolitan statistical areas showed higher default rates compared to the previous month. Miami showed the largest increase, up 22 basis points to 1.53%. The default rate for Los Angeles rose 12 basis points to 0.77%, while the rate for New York climbed seven basis points to 1.14%. The level for Dallas rose four basis points to 1.01%, while the rate for Chicago was three basis points lower at 1.14%.

The composite default rate, composed of first mortgage, bank card, and auto loan defaults, rose one basis point in November 2019 from 0.93% to 0.94%, and up year over year from 0.83%.

The previous release from S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices saw default rates rise for first time mortgages rose for the third month in a row.

Despite October’s rise in mortgage defaults, the indices shows that the composite rate was unchanged at 0.93%, as other forms of credit fell that month. The bank card default rate fell 44 basis points to 2.88%. The auto loan default rate was down two basis points to 1.03%, and the first mortgage default rate increased four basis points to 0.77%.

In an effort to further reduce future defaults on FHA-insured mortgages, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has signaled that it may tighten credit, noting that the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio for FHA-insured loans has been consistently increasing for six years. In a new report, Urban Institute examined  how important DTI ratios in predicting a borrower’s ability to make on-time mortgage payments, and how debt burden impacts ability to repay FHA mortgages.

According to Urban, DTI ratios are much less significant predictors of loan performance than FICO scores and that many high-DTI loans have strong FICO scores. Additionally, Urban’s analysis found that higher-DTI loans do not always have higher serious delinquency rates, and 5.6% of loans with DTI ratios ranging from 0 to 35% have been seriously delinquent at 60 months of age, compared with 7.6% of loans with DTI ratios of 35–45. But for loans with DTI ratios greater than 50, the D90+ rate at 60 months is 6.9%, lower than those with DTI ratios of 35–45.

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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