Delinquency Rates Still Up Year Over Year, But Steadily Improving


CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights Report for March 2021 shows that 4.9% of all mortgages in the U.S. were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure), representing a 1.3-percentage point increase in the overall delinquency rate compared to March 2020.

March’s overall delinquency rate marks the lowest it has been since last March, when it was 3.6%.

The U.S. delinquency and transition rates, and their year-over-year changes, were as follows:

  • Early-Stage Delinquencies (30 to 59 days past due): 1%, down from 1.9% in March 2020.
  • Adverse Delinquency (60 to 89 days past due): 0.4%, down from 0.6% in March 2020.
  • Serious Delinquency (90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure): 3.5%, up from 1.2% in March 2020.
  • Foreclosure Inventory Rate (the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process): 0.3%, down from 0.4% in March 2020.
  • Transition Rate (the share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due): 0.4%, down from 1% in March 2020.

“U.S. overall mortgage delinquency lessened significantly from February to March, and rates for nearly every other stage of delinquency were down compared to a year ago,” says Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Homeowners are catching up on their debt as the economic effects of the pandemic begin to wane, which is yet another sign of forward motion on the road to overall recovery.”

A recent CoreLogic survey of current mortgage holders shows that in addition to 89% of respondents saying they are current on their mortgage payments, nearly 70% said they also have credit card debt – of which, only 15% reported falling behind on payments in the past year.

“Many forces came together in March to yield the largest one-month improvement in the overall delinquency rate since the pandemic started,” adds Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “In addition to continued government support, including stimulus payments and mortgage forbearance programs, the U.S. economy added 770,000 jobs in March – the largest increase since August of 2020.”

CoreLogic notes that all U.S. states and nearly all metro areas logged increases in annual overall delinquency rates in March. Hawaii and Nevada (up 3.2 and 3 percentage points, respectively) again logged the largest annual increase in overall delinquency rates.

Among metros, Odessa, Texas, had the largest annual overall delinquency increase, with 7.9 percentage points. Other metro areas with significant overall delinquency increases included Midland, Texas (up 6.1 percentage points); Kahului, Hawaii (up 5.2 percentage points); and Lake Charles, La. (up 4 percentage points).

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