Mortgage delinquencies up - 7th quarter

A third-quarter report shows 3.96% of home loans were 60 days or more past due, bringing delinquencies on a steady climb for the seventh straight quarter.

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By Larissa Padden, contributor

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NEW YORK ( -- Mortgage loan delinquency rates rose for the seventh quarter in a row to hit 3.96%, according to a report out on Monday. That's a 12% increase from the second quarter's 3.53% average.

The survey, released by credit research outfit TransUnion, classifies borrowers as delinquent when they are 60 days or more past due on their home loans.

"As expected, the mortgage sector continued to experience increases in the delinquency rate due to worsening economic conditions in both the labor and financial markets," said Keith Carson, a senior consultant in TransUnion's financial services group, in a release on Monday.

Florida had the highest borrower delinquency rate in the third quarter, which came in at 7.82%, while Nevada was just behind it with a rate of 7.71%. North Dakota had the lowest rate at 1.35%, followed by South Dakota at 1.6%, and Montana at 1.71%.

The states that saw the biggest increases in delinquency rates were the District of Colombia, up 42.7%, followed by North Dakota, up 22.7%, and Idaho, which saw a 21.7% increase. West Virginia was the only state to record a drop in delinquency rates for the third quarter.

The average national mortgage debt per borrower was up 0.2% to $192,287 from the second quarter's total of $191,681.

TransUnion says it expects delinquencies to continue to rise in the fourth quarter of 2008 and throughout 2009, according to Carson, who adds that the national delinquency rate could go as high as 7%.

"Depending on the severity of the capital markets crisis, the ultimate outcome of the decline in the U.S. auto industry and the timing of a recovery in retail sales," Carson said in a statement, "we see the possibility of a flattening of mortgage delinquencies as the economy begins to stabilize and some sectors of the country begin to improve in the second quarter of 2010."  To top of page

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