Mortgage Delinquencies Continue to Rise

Equifax Inc. has reported that more than 8 percent of homeowners werebehind 30 days or more on their mortgage loans, up 4.4 percent from December 2009 and 21 percent from last January Reuters reported.

In January, one in every 409 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing,up 15 percent from the year-earlier month, according to RealtyTrac, based in Irvine, California.

“There is a large segment of homes that are going to enter foreclosure in the next 3 to 6 months, which then puts more pressure on home prices” by adding to supply, according to Equifax.

TransUnion reported  that customers at least 60 days past due on their mortgage payments rose to a new record in the fourth quarter, the Associated Press reported . The credit data provider said that 6.89 percent of mortgage borrowers were at least two months behind on payments
during the fourth quarter. It was the 12th straight quarter the delinquency rate rose.

The delinquency rate, which is seen as a precursor to foreclosures, was 6.25 percent during the third quarter and 4.58 percent during the final quarter in 2008. In addition, customers at least three months late on making a credit card payment rose to 1.21 percent during the final three months of 2009. However, average credit card debt fell to $5,434 from $5,729 during the same quarter a year earlier. While mortgage and credit card delinquencies continued to worsen, auto delinquencies improved.

The 60-day delinquency rate on auto loans fell 6 percent in the fourth quarter to 0.81 percent, compared with the same quarter a year earlier. The delinquency rate was unchanged from the third quarter.

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