Mortgage Delinquency Rates and Foreclosure Rates Fell in 2012


First-lien home loans performed well in the third quarter, according to a government report, though that performance dipped slightly from the previous three-month period.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's Mortgage Metrics Report for the period between July and September indicates a rise on an annual basis in terms of quality of performing mortgages nationwide. Data from the OCC shows 88.6 percent of all first-lien loans were current and performing by the end of the period.

"Strengthening economic conditions, servicing transfers, and the ongoing effects of home retention efforts and home forfeiture actions contributed to the improvement in seriously delinquent mortgages compared with last year," the agency stated in its report.

While this figure improved from its 2011 level, the percentage dropped from the second quarter. During that period, the rate was 88.7 percent, marking a modest dip.

Another minor negative factor noted in the report was a jump in the number of home loans between 30 and 59 days delinquent. According to the findings, 3.1 percent of all first-lien mortgages were this late during the third quarter -- a hike of 3.6 percent from the year before and a 10.4 percent boost from the second quarter, the OCC notes.

Other data from the report shows mortgage modifications were able to help a significant number of borrowers nationwide. Monthly and interest payments decreased nearly 24 percent during the third quarter. This amounts to roughly $345 per borrower.

Programs like the Home Affordable Modification Program continue to aid delinquent borrowers, allowing them to alter their home loans' terms and get current on payments.

The OCC isn't the only entity to report improving home loan conditions among mortgage borrowers across the country late in 2012. According to Lender Processing Services' "First Look" Mortgage Report for November, the U.S. delinquency rate dipped more than 9 percent from a year earlier.

Additionally, the LPS' report indicates the country's foreclosure inventory continues to fall. The amount of distressed properties on the market during the second month of the fourth quarter slipped more than 16 percent from November 2011.

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