'09 Foreclosures Hit Million

Washington-Current delinquency and foreclosure rates are reaching milestones.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending a new foreclosure starts every 13 seconds, equaling nearly 6,500 a day. CRL data show the number of new foreclosure starts for the first five months of 2009 has reached one million.

CRL projects a total of 2.4 million foreclosure starts by the end of the year, which is expected to reduce "property values of some 70 million nearby households" by about $502 billion, or at an average of $7,200 for homeowner.

At the same time, the Mortgage Bankers Association said new 4Q08 survey data show 12% of all mortgages are now delinquent, representing "the highest level since the MBA started measuring 37 years ago."

CRL president Michael Calhoun called the situation "alarming. Foreclosures started today's crisis and foreclosures will keep the crisis going if this epidemic continues," he said.

Longer-term CRL projections show that by 2012 at least 9 million new foreclosures will cost $1.9 trillion in lost home equity to 92 million families.

A recent mortgage trends analysis by TransUnion.com of Chicago based on data from approximately 27 million anonymous, randomly sampled customer credit files also show mortgage loan delinquency ratio among borrowers 60 or more days past due increased for the ninth straight quarter, hitting a national average high of 5.22% for the first quarter of 2009.

This statistic traditionally seen as a precursor to foreclosures, TransUnion.com said, is up almost 14% from the previous quarter's 4.58% average - compared to an increase of 16% from the third to fourth quarter of 2008. Also, year-over-year, mortgage loan delinquency is up approximately 62% up from 3.23%.

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