The national mortgage delinquency rate increased for the first time since the end of 2009, edging upward to 5.88% at the end of the third quarter, according to data released by TransUnion.
Between the second and third quarters, all but 10 states and the District of Columbia experienced increases in their mortgage delinquency rates. Sixty-four percent of metropolitan areas saw increases in their mortgage delinquency rates in the third quarter, up from 21% in the second quarter.
Among states, Florida had the highest mortgage delinquency rate during the third quarter, at 14.08%, followed by Nevada at 12.39% and New Jersey at 7.6%. North Dakota had the lowest delinquency rate during the quarter, at 1.4%, followed by South Dakota at 2.33% and Nebraska at 2.36%.
‘Until this quarter, we had seen six straight quarters where progressively more people were able to make their mortgage payments on time,’ says Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "We expected that trend to continue, given recent relatively more conservative lending policies, and the apparent stabilization of both home values and unemployment.
‘However,’ Martin continues, ‘in the third quarter, the consumer was hit with several unanticipated shocks, including the U.S. credit rating downgrade, stock price declines, European debt concerns, stubbornly high unemployment, more downward pressure on home values and low consumer confidence. All of this affects a borrower's net worth and desire, or ability, to continue making house payments – especially if they are facing negative equity in their homes due to price depreciation.’