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LPS: Delinquency Rates Persist At Historic Levels

The January Lender Processing Services, Inc. Mortgage Monitor report once again shows that if there is a light at the end of the tunnel it is still quite far away as the number of properties that are 30 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure remains at a staggering 6.922 million.

Up to 4.719 million loans are delinquent but not yet in foreclosure proceedings keeping the loan delinquency rate at 8.90% and only 4.08% lower than in December.

Apparently nothing much has changed during the past month. Results are almost the same as they were by yearend.

Even though at yearend moratoria and process reviews kept the volume of loans moving into foreclosure at bay, the December LPS report showed that at 12.98% the non-current loan rate or the total number of delinquent loans and inventory remains at historic levels.

By the end of December the foreclosure inventory rate was 4.15% and continues to rise bringing the number of foreclosed mortgagees to 7.8 times higher than historical levels.

While serious delinquency rates, or the number of loans 90 days of more delinquent but not yet in foreclosure declined to 2.1 million—a staggering 6.9 million loans are nonperforming and in some stage of foreclosure.

What is discouraging is that over one third of the borrowers that are 90 days or more delinquent have not made a payment in over one year.

Florida and Nevada the two long-term worst performing states that continue to top non-performing charts are closely followed by Mississippi, Georgia and New Jersey as California and Arizona report relative improvements.

Nonetheless the total number of delinquent loans is nearly twice as high as historical averages.

LPS reports an 18% overall decrease in delinquency rates across all products since the start of 2010 was caused by declines in newly delinquent loan rates that were significant enough to counterbalance the fact that more loans entered foreclosure.

Consequently seasonal trends may further be reversed as newly delinquent loan rates continue to improve.

Foreclosure inventory increases of almost 10% during 2010 have been driven by a combination of “elevated levels of foreclosure starts,” as well as “extremely subdued” foreclosure sale activity due to process reviews and moratoria.