Black Knight: Mortgage Delinquencies Dropped in January as Impact of Storms Recedes

Mortgage delinquencies (30 days or more past due) decreased dramatically in January as the effects of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria on the housing market dissipated – however, the storms will have a lingering impact that will last for a few more months, according to Black Knight’s First Look report.

The national delinquency rate decreased 8.57% in January compared with December, yet it was still up slightly, 1.31%, compared with January 2017, according to the report.

About 2.2 million properties were 30 days or more past due, a decrease of about 210,000 compared with December but an increase of about 40,000 compared with January 2017.

About 707,000 properties were seriously delinquent (90 days or more past due), a decrease of 19,000 compared with December but up 43,000 compared with January of last year.

Foreclosure starts jumped dramatically in January. There were about 62,300 foreclosures started in January – an increase of about 40% compared with December but down 11.51% compared with January 2017.

The reason for the increase in foreclosure starts is not directly due to the storms, however, as homeowners in the storm-impacted areas have been granted temporary forbearance.

Rather, the impact is due to active foreclosures predating the hurricanes, which were put on hold after the storms but have begun to revert back to that status as post-hurricane foreclosure moratoria expire.

The total U.S. pre-foreclosure inventory rate, as of the end of January, was about 1.74%, an increase of 42.25% compared with December but down 21.75% compared with January 2017.

About 337,000 properties were in the pre-foreclosure inventory, an increase of 6,000 compared with the previous month, but down about 144,000 compared with a year earlier.

The monthly prepayment rate was 0.79%, down 14.73% from a month earlier and down 16.80% from a year earlier.

An early look at January data on the mortgage market in Puerto Rico shows an additional 57,000 loans still delinquent as a result of Hurricane Maria, with 49,000 seriously delinquent, according to Black Knight.

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