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FEB 21, 2013 11:37am ET

MBA Delinquency Study Shows Nationwide Improvement

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The delinquency rate on single-family loans fell nearly 50 basis points during 2012 to the lowest level since 2008 and foreclosure starts during the fourth quarter fell to the lowest level since 2007, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA National Delinquency Survey released Thursday morning shows the delinquency rate on loans that have missed at least one payment fell to 7.09% in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 31 basis points from the third quarter and 49 basis points from a year ago.

“We are seeing large improvements in mortgage performance nationally and in almost every state,” said MBA chief economist Jay Brinkmann.

Foreclose starts fell to 0.7% in the fourth quarter, down 29 bps from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the fourth-quarter serious delinquency rate was 6.78% for all loans that are 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure, down 25 bps from the third quarter and 95 bps from a year ago.

The performance of Federal Housing Administration loans was “mixed,” according to the fourth-quarter MBA report. The serious delinquency was unchanged quarter-over-quarter at 8.54%.

After a surge in FHA foreclosure starts in the second quarter, starts fell to 0.86% by yearend—nearly half the rate (1.53%) back in June.

Meanwhile, the serious delinquency rate on prime loans was 4.34% at yearend and 21.7% on subprime loans.

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