Tuesday, May 12, 2020

MBA: "Mortgage Delinquencies Rise in First Quarter of 2020"

by Calculated Risk on 5/12/2020 10:19:00 AM

This is mostly pre-COVID. The second quarter will see a large increase in delinquencies (forbearance will be included as delinquent in Q2).

From the MBA: Mortgage Delinquencies Rise in First Quarter of 2020

The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.36 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter of 2020, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey.

The delinquency rate was up 59 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2019 and down 6 basis points from one year ago. The percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were started in the first quarter fell by 2 basis points to 0.19 percent.

“The mortgage delinquency rate in the fourth quarter of 2019 was at its lowest rate since MBA’s survey began in 1979. 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,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. “The major variances from the fourth quarter of 2019 to this year’s first quarter are tied to the increase in early-stage delinquencies for all loan types. For example, the 30-day FHA delinquency rate rose by 113 basis points, the second-highest quarterly ramp-up in the survey series. The 30-day VA delinquency rate rose by 78 basis points – the highest quarterly increase.”

The seriously delinquent rate in the first quarter decreased by 9 basis points and was down 29 basis points from a year ago. The foreclosure inventory rate – the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process – was at its lowest level last quarter since 1984. Foreclosure starts were down 2 basis points from the previous quarter.

“Mortgage delinquencies track closely with the U.S. job market. With unemployment rising from historical lows in early 2020 to a record 14.7 percent in April, it is inevitable that mortgage delinquencies would increase as well. 33.5 million U.S. workers applied for unemployment benefits in the past seven weeks, and with signs of economic distress continuing into the second quarter, mortgage delinquencies will likely further increase,” said Walsh.

According to Walsh, there may be a flattening in foreclosure starts in future quarterly surveys due to COVID-19-related foreclosure moratoria and borrower forbearance guidelines under the CARES Act. Almost 4 million homeowners are on forbearance plans as of May 3, but MBA’s survey asks servicers to report these loans as delinquent if the payment was not made based on the original terms of the mortgage – in the same manner that delinquency data is collected during natural disasters.

“Once foreclosure moratoria are lifted and forbearance periods end, borrower repayment and modification options, combined with year-over-year equity accumulation and home-price gains, may present alternatives to foreclosure for the millions of distressed homeowners affected by this unfortunate pandemic and economic crisis,” added Walsh.
emphasis added
MBA Delinquency by PeriodClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the percent of loans delinquent by days past due.  Delinquencies increased in Q1.

The increase was mostly in the 30 day bucket that increased from 2.17% in Q4 to 2.67% in Q1.   There will be a huge spike in delinquencies in Q2.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process declined further, and was at the lowest level since at least 1985.