There were 6,298,000 mortgages going unpaid in the United States as of the end of October, according to ""Lender Processing Services"":http://www.lpsvcs.com (LPS).[IMAGE]
It's a daunting number, but the data show that it's actually been on a fairly steady decline for nearly two years now.
At the start of 2011, the total number of non-current mortgages in the U.S. stood at 6,870,000. In January 2010, it was 8,118,000.
LPS' more recent reports show the industry is slowly but surely chipping away at the number each and every month Ã¢â‚¬" the result of both loss mitigation workouts and removing loans that cannot be resolved from the inventory through foreclosure.[COLUMN_BREAK]
At September month-end, the tally of non-current mortgages was 6,373,000. It was 6,397,000 at the end of August and 6,538,000 at the end of July.
LPSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ data indicates mortgage delinquencies are declining while the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s foreclosure inventory is growing.
Of the 6,298,000 loans past due at the end of October, 2,329,000 were behind on their payments by 30-89 days and 1,759,000 were 90 or more days delinquent but not yet referred to foreclosure.
Combined, these tallies represent 7.93 percent of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s outstanding mortgages that are delinquent but not in foreclosure. The October delinquency rate is down 2.0 percent from the previous month and is 14.6 percent lower than the rate recorded in October 2010.
The foreclosure inventory rate, on the other hand, is up by both measures. LPS says 4.29 percent of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mortgages are winding their way through the foreclosure process, a month-over-month increase of 2.5 percent and a year-over-year increase of 9.4 percent.
By LPSÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ calculations, there were 2,210,000 residential mortgage loans in foreclosure at October month-end.
States with highest percentage of non-current loans Ã¢â‚¬" which combines foreclosures and delinquencies Ã¢â‚¬" include: Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois.
Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, and North Dakota have the lowest percentage of non-current loans.