Black Knight: Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to 2nd-Lowest Point in 12 Years

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said mortgage delinquencies fell for the first time in seven months, bucking a seasonal trend and falling to its second-lowest level in 12 years.

The company’s monthly First Look Mortgage Monitor Report said the U.S. loan delinquency rate fell to 3.67 percent in April, down by 1.6 percent from March and down by 10.17 percent from a year ago.

“In a nutshell: 85% of the time, historically speaking, mortgage delinquencies rise in April,” Black Knight said. “This year bucked that trend and, in doing so, put a halt to seven months of consecutive year-over-increases in the national delinquency rate, kicked off by the impact of the 2017 Hurricane season.

Black Knight noted it was improvement in those hurricane-affected areas that primarily pushed down delinquencies, but they fell even in non-impacted areas too. Foreclosure starts were down too, driven by a 30 percent reduction in hurricane areas. Overall, the number of loans in active foreclosure continued to shrink, hitting the lowest point since August 2006. However, Black Knight noted still more than 90,000 seriously delinquent loans in hurricane areas of Florida and Texas.

Black Knight reported the U.S. foreclosure inventory rate fell to 0.61 percent in April, down by 2.26 percent from March and by 28.41 percent from a year ago. Foreclosure starts totaled 49,300 in April, down by 5.37 percent from March and by 6.63 percent a year ago.

Additionally, Black Knight reported prepayment activity fell 4.3 percent in April from last month and was down slightly from a year ago.