According to a recent survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the “latest delinquency numbers represent significant, across-the-board decreases in mortgage delinquency rates in the U.S.,” according to MBA’s chief economist, Jay Brinkmann. In fact, total delinquencies (not including homes already in foreclosure) are at the lowest levels since the end of 2008, and mortgages with one payment past due alone are at their lowest level since 2007, which MBA marks as the “very beginning of the recession.”
Perhaps even more more promising: at the beginning of 2010 90-day-or-more delinquencies were at an all time high at the beginning of 2010 but have now fallen 28 percent, and 48 of the 50 states experienced a drop in this area.
These numbers indicate, to Brinkmann, that “we have clearly turned a corner.” He went on to say that “absent a significant economic reversal, the delinquency picture should continue to improve during 2011.” Brinkmann cited high levels of unemployment for the still relatively slow recovery, but did point out that “the economy did add over 1.2 million private sector jobs during 2010.”
Many states are also adding homeowner-aid programs to the roster aimed specifically at out-of-work homeowners. For example, in South Carolina, “struggling homeowners” who meet the criteria for the states Home-ownership and Employment Lending Program can receive $36,000 in aid to catch up on mortgages and continue making payments while looking for work. The same survey from MBA that shows delinquencies on the decline does indicate that actual foreclosures on still on the rise, so states like South Carolina are making the move to expand these assistance programs in hopes that they can “tide over” distressed homeowners while employment rates recover.
Do you believe that these numbers are a positive sign, or is the MBA looking at the situation through rose-colored glasses?