Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TransUnion: Mortgage Delinquencies at All Time High

by Bill McBride on 2/16/2010 07:32:00 PM

From TransUnion: TransUnion Finds National Mortgage Delinquencies Jumped 10.24 Percent at End of 2009 (ht jb)

TransUnion's quarterly analysis of trends in the mortgage industry found that mortgage loan delinquency (the ratio of borrowers 60 or more days past due) increased for the 12th straight quarter, hitting an all-time national average high of 6.89 percent for the fourth quarter of 2009. This quarter marks the first time the mortgage delinquency rate increase did not decelerate after doing so for three consecutive periods.

This statistic, which is traditionally seen as a precursor to foreclosure, increased 10.24 percent from the previous quarter's 6.25 percent average. Year-over-year, mortgage borrower delinquency is up approximately 50 percent (from 4.58 percent).
...
"At the national level, these results are in part due to seasonality effects. Consumers tend to run low on cash at the end of the year, after spending for the holidays, but before receiving year-end bonuses and tax refunds," said FJ Guarrera, vice president of TransUnion's financial services business unit. ... "The continuing rise in foreclosures, in conjunction with low consumer confidence in the housing market, continues to hinder housing value appreciation and impede recovery in the mortgage industry. Furthermore, there is wave of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) that have yet to reset. Many of these are Option and Alt-A loans. When the interest rates on these loans reset many consumers potentially will not be able to meet their debt obligations."
....
TransUnion's forecasts for 2010 are slightly more pessimistic than before due to questions concerning house price appreciation, the continued high level of unemployment, and the potential eroding of consumer confidence as the effects of the government stimulus begin to fade.

"We believe that the 60-day mortgage delinquency rate will peak between 7.5 and 8 percent over the course of 2010, depending on the prevailing economic conditions associated with the housing market," said Guarrera.
emphasis added
The MBA reports on Q4 delinquency and foreclosure rates on Friday.