News Column

Wisconsin Mortgage Delinquency Rate Rises Slightly

Nov. 16, 2012

Paul Gores

The delinquency rate of mortgage loans in Wisconsin rose slightly in the third quarter from the same time last year, a report released Thursday shows.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 6.25% of all mortgages in Wisconsin were in arrears as of Sept. 30. That is up from 6.24% in the third quarter of 2011.

The small increase appears to have been driven by a rise in loans 30 days past due, new delinquencies the mortgage bankers trade group said aren't surprising "given the weak economic and job growth in the third quarter."

Mortgages that were 30 days overdue rose nationally as well, although the overall delinquency rate for the U.S. dropped to 7.64% from 8.2%.

The delinquency rate includes loans that are at least one payment past due, but doesn't include loans in the process of foreclosure.

The amount of mortgages in foreclosure in Wisconsin fell to 3.17% in the third quarter from 3.45% in the same period last year. Nationwide, loans in foreclosure decreased to 4.07% from 4.43%. Florida had the most mortgages in foreclosure, at 13%.

"Mortgage delinquencies decreased compared to last quarter overall, driven mainly by a decline in loans that are 90 days or more delinquent," said Mike Fratantoni, the mortgage bankers' vice president of research and economics. "The 90 day delinquency rate is at its lowest level since 2008, and together with the decline in the percentage of loans in foreclosure, this indicates a significant drop in the shadow inventory of distressed loans -- a real positive for the housing market."

He added: "The improvement in total delinquency rates was accompanied by a further drop in the foreclosure starts rate, which hit its lowest level since 2007."

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel