Delinquencies at Nine-Year High
Originally Published: 22 June, 2020
Black Knight reports another breathtaking increase in mortgage delinquencies in its “first look” at May loan performance data. The rate, which soared by 90 percent in April, grew another 20.4 percent, to 7.76 percent of all active mortgages. This puts the rate, which had been declining continually to near all-time lows before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, up by 130.8 points from May 2019. This is the highest delinquency rate since late 2011.
There was a total of 4.123 million loans that were 30 days or more past due in May, 723,000 more than in April and 2.36 million more than a year earlier. It this includes loans that were in a forbearance plan and did not make a May payment but does not include loans in foreclosure. Under provisions of the CARES Act, loans in forbearance that miss payments are not reported to the credit bureaus. Black Knight notes that the May increase was less than half the number of borrowers who transitioned from current to non-current in April, 1.6 million.
Serious delinquencies are also on the rise. There were 631,000 homeowners who were 90 or more days past due but not in foreclosure at the end of May. Serious delinquencies increased by an aggregte of 50 percent in April and May and were 170,000 higher than a year earlier.
To this point, late stage delinquencies have continued to slide. The foreclosure inventory, loans that are in process of foreclosure, numbers 200,000, 11,000 fewer than in April and down 55,000 year-over-year and foreclosure starts, at 5,100 were down 31.1 percent and 86.4 percent from the two earlier periods. The foreclosure inventory rate is 22.7 percent below its May 2019 level. The foreclosure rate was 0.9 percent, a number based on loans 90 or more days past due. This is a 19.6 percent decline from April and down 95.1 percent on an annual basis. CARES, in addition to requiring servicers to offer forbearance plans, also puts a moratorium on most foreclosure activity.
The number of non-current loans, including those in foreclosure, at the end of May was 4.32 million. However, Black Knight says that a higher share of June payments had been made at the point their report was written than May payments at the same point that month. This suggests that the rise in delinquencies may be leveling off. Still, the share of homeowners in forbearance who continue to make mortgage payments is declining. Forty-six percent of forborne borrowers made their April payments; 26 percent paid in May, but as of June 15, the rate was only 15 percent.
Delinquency rates have more than doubled in some states. Oregon’s rate rose 169 percent year over year; Washington’s is up 148 percent; Florida’s increase was 155 percent and New Jersey rose 150 percent.
Black Knight will provide May loan performance information in a more detailed form in its Mortgage Monitor report. It will be available on July 6.