Foreclosures and home loan delinquencies dropped in February while the refinancing slowdown continued, according to a monthly report from Black Knight Financial Services.
Foreclosure starts fell to 91,993 in February—down 30% from the same time a year ago and down 2.21% from the previous month, according to the report.
Lower delinquency rates also pointed to a healthier housing market. The total delinquency rate for loans 30 days or more past due was 5.97%, down 12% from February 2012 and a 5% dip from the previous month.
The states with the highest rates of seriously delinquent loans (defined as loans 90 days or more past due) were Mississippi (5.36%), Nevada (3.99%) and Rhode Island (3.97%). Alabama (3.67%) and Louisiana (3.55%) were close behind.
The monthly repayment rate, which measures the percentage of principal repaid in a given month, took a sharp plunge as refinances slowed, falling to 0.66%--down 64% year-over-year and down 11% from the previous month.
Black Knight's monthly report uses month-end mortgage performance statistics from its loan database. The report covers roughly 70% of the overall market.