TransUnion: Mortgage Delinquencies See New High in 4Q

MortgagesMortgage loan delinquencies – a tally of borrowers 60 days past due – climbed for the 12th straight quarter in fourth quarter 2009 to a new high of 6.89 percent, according to an analysis by the credit reporting agency TransUnion.
Such mortgage delinquencies are normally a sign of foreclosures to come and TransUnion’s report suggests a deepening of the U.S. housing finance crisis.
The fourth quarter figure increased 10.24 percent from the previous quarter’s 6.25 percent average. Year-over-year, the rate is up about 50 percent from 4.58 percent in the same period in 2008.
Mortgage delinquencies in the fourth quarter were highest again in Nevada (16.19 percent) and Florida (14.93 percent), TransUnion said.
“At the national level, these results are in part due to seasonality effects. Consumers tend to run low on cash at the end of the year, after spending for the holidays, but before receiving year-end bonuses and tax refunds,” said FJ Guarrera, vice president of TransUnion’s financial services business unit.
A bright spot in TransUnion’s report: 38 “metropolitan statistical areas” showed a decrease in mortgage loan delinquencies, compared to 27 such areas registering a decrease in the previous quarter.
However, TransUnion’s forecast for 2010 remains pessimistic “due to questions concerning house price appreciation, the continued high level of unemployment, and the potential eroding of consumer confidence as the effects of the government stimulus begin to fade.”
 TransUnion, one of the three credit bureaus, pulls about 27 million anonymous, randomly sampled credit files for its quarterly review. The total represents about 10 percent of credit-active U.S. consumers.
The average national mortgage debt per borrower increased a modest 0.29 percent to $193,690 in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous quarter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *