First-lien mortgage delinquencies remained elevated but stable during the third quarter but have declined from one year before, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) newest Mortgage Metrics Report, released Wednesday.
However, the OCC notes that the number of new foreclosures increased by 21.1% during the quarter, as servicers lifted voluntary moratoria implemented in late 2010 and exhausted foreclosure alternatives. The increase in new foreclosures and the increase in average time required to complete foreclosure sales has resulted in the number of foreclosures in process increasing to 4.1% of the overall portfolio, or 1,327,077 loans, at the end of the third quarter.
Quarter-over-quarter, the percentages of loans that were 30-to-60 days late and mortgages that were seriously delinquent did not change. However, both categories have declined compared to last year.
On the loan modification front, the OCC reports that modifications implemented in the third quarter reduced borrowers' monthly principal and interest payments by 24.4%, or $382. Modifications executed under the Home Affordable Modification Program reduced payments by 35.1% on average, or $567.
According to the OCC, modifications that reduced payments by 10% or more performed better than those that reduced payments by less. At the end of the third quarter, 58.8% of modifications made since the beginning of 2008 that reduced payments by 10% or more were current and performing, compared with 36.4% of modifications made during that time that reduced payments by less than 10%.
At the end of the third quarter, 50.8% of modifications performed between 2008 and the second quarter of this year were current or had paid off. Another 8.8% were 30 to 59 days delinquent, and 17.8% were seriously delinquent. Eleven percent were in the process of foreclosure, and 5.8% had completed the foreclosure process.