According to a new report by Lender Processing Services (LPS), mortgage delinquencies dropped 3.7 percent in December, down 40 percent from December 2010 levels, with the total U.S. loan delinquency rate now resting at 8.15 percent, the same as the month prior. The total foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate was 4.11 percent, down 1.3 percent from November.
LPS reports the top reasons for delinquencies falling are moratoria, process reviews and loss mitigation efforts, while delinquencies were down 25 percent from their peak in January 2010. New originations were down almost 30 percent for the year.
December origination data also shows that recent prepayment activity – a key indicator of mortgage refinances – has remained strong, with 2008-09 originations, high credit score borrowers and government-backed loans having benefited the most from recent, historically low interest rates.
LPS reports that half of loans in foreclosure in judicial states have not made a payment in two years, while 28 percent of loans in foreclosure in nonjudicial states have not made a payment in two years. Foreclosure sale rates in nonjudicial states are approximately four times that of judicial foreclosure states.
Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey had the highest percentage of delinquent loans in December, while Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska and North Dakota had the lowest percentage of delinquent loans.
As the backlog begins clearing after being caused by the robosigning debacle wherin banks illegally filed foreclosures on homeowners with no human review of any documents, not to mention other abuses, many predict could cause up to a 25 percent increase in foreclosure filings in 2012. The volume of distressed homes on the market has certainly been limited as processing has slowed.