Fewer Home Owners Late on Mortgage Payments

June 28, 2012

The number of home owners with severely delinquent mortgages — 90-plus days past due or in foreclosure — fell 37 percent in May compared to its peak in January 2010, according to a new report out by Equifax. Seventy percent of those delinquencies are loans opened between 2005 through 2007, Equifax notes in its May National Consumer Credit Trends Report. 

"That severe mortgage delinquencies are trending downward is not surprising given generally improving economic conditions," says Amy Crew Cutts, Equifax chief economist. "What is surprising is that even with the foreclosure moratoriums and the slow resolution of foreclosure backlogs, the downward trend has been a steady, consistent drumbeat of recovery. If this pace continues, we expect the volume of severely delinquent mortgage balances to return to mid-2007 levels by the end of 2014."

According to the report, severely delinquent non-agency loans have seen the largest drops. Non-agency severely delinquent loans fell 45 percent in May to $320 million compared to its peak in January 2010 of $580 million. Meanwhile, agency-sourced mortgages — those that are backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, and Veterans Administration — declined 9 percent in May to $130 billion compared to its peak in January 2010 of $142 billion. 

The report also showed that mortgage write-offs have dropped 28 percent in May from their peak in 2010. Also, home mortgage balances have fallen 12.5 percent to $8.6 trillion compared to its record-setting $9.8 trillion reached in October 2008.

Source: Equifax