Mortgage delinquency rate drops for first time since 2006
The share of homeowners behind on their mortgages fell in the first quarter, the first drop in four years and a possible sign that the foreclosure crisis has peaked.
The portion of mortgages that were delinquent 30 days or more fell to 6.57 percent in the first quarter from 6.60 percent in the last three months of 2009, according to Equifax and Moody's Economy.com.
That's a drop of about 16,630 delinquent loans and, while modest, it is the first decline in the delinquency rate since early 2006.
"It will take years to work through all the troubled mortgage loans in the foreclosure pipeline, but this is the first indication that the number of loans entering the pipeline is declining," says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com. "It portends a peaking of the foreclosure crisis."
Delinquencies in almost all categories — 30-, 90- and 120-day delinquencies on single-family properties — declined. In the past two years, more than 5 million homes have received foreclosure notices, and more than 3 million are expected to get them this year, according to Realty Trac.