Mortgage delinquency rates rose in
February, ending eight straight months of recovery from the spike that followed
the onset of the pandemic. Black Knight, in its first look at February loan
performance data, said the national mortgage delinquency rate, the percentage
of all mortgages that were 30 days or more past due, grew to 6.0 percent from
January’s 5.85 percent rate. Delinquency numbers include loans in both
forbearance and foreclosure. The increase was primarily seen in early-stage
delinquencies, while the number of loans 90 or more days past due saw a modest decline.
The company said such upticks are
not unusual in months that end on a Sunday, cutting the days in which payment’s
can be processed. Given that it was also the year’s shortest month, the calendar
may account for much of the increase.
The number of delinquent loans
increased 2.61 percent or by 56,000 loans for the month and 1.49 million or 83.03
percent year over year. Serious delinquencies, loans 90 or more days past due,
declined by 15,000 loans, but the 2.075 loans in that bucket exceed those last
February by 1,666 million.
There were 166,000 loans in the foreclosure
inventory, down by 3,000 from January and by 71,000 from a year earlier. The
3,900 foreclosure starts were one-third fewer than the previous month and an 88
percent year-over-year decline. Black Knight said recently extended foreclosure
moratoriums continue to suppress foreclosure activity.
Mississippi and Louisiana continued
their long run as the states with the highest delinquency rates at 10.79
percent and 10.29 percent, respectively. They were followed by Hawaii, with a
150 percent annual increase, Oklahoma, and Maryland. All three states have
rates in the 8 to 9 percent range.
Prepayment activity edged upward in
February as well. The Single Month Mortality rate was 2.85 percent, a monthly
8.41 percent change and 110.35 percent higher for the year. Black Knight said recent
30-year interest rate increases are likely to put downward pressure on
prepayment rates in the coming months.
The company will provide more in
depth data on February’s loan performance in the next issue of its Mortgage
Monitor. It will be released on April 5.