Black Knight: Delinquency Rates Hit 12-Month Low

Black Knight, Jacksonville, Fla., said seasonal effects and continued hurricane-related improvements contributed to a 13% decline in the national delinquency rate in March.

The company’s First Look Mortgage Monitor report said at 3.73%, the national delinquency rate hit a 12-month low. “March is typically the calendar-year low for delinquencies, coupled with the impact of tax season (as borrowers can use refunds to bring their mortgages current),” the report said.

The report said serious delinquencies (90+ days past due, but not yet in foreclosure) fell by 65,000 in March. In areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey & Irma, serious delinquencies fell by nearly 20,000 as overall improvement continued.

However, the report noted while there are fewer hurricane-related delinquencies each month, “we’re now seeing an increase in foreclosure starts driven primarily by those areas (as post-storm moratoria on foreclosure actions are ending).” Foreclosure starts rose by 12 percent from February, to 52,100 for the month. More than two-thirds of that increase came from hurricane-affected areas of Texas and Florida.

Regardless, the report said improvement in the overall active foreclosure inventory continued. Despite the 12 percent increase in starts, active foreclosures fell another 10,000, to the lowest level seen since late-2006. Black Knight reported just 321,000 loans in active foreclosure, a 127,000 reduction from a year ago.

The report also said prepayment activity increased by 22% from February’s four-year low, despite interest rates sitting above 4.4% for the entirety of March.

Black Knight said states with the highest percentage of non-current loans were Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and West Virginia; states with the lowest percentage of non-current loans were Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and North Dakota.