The latest National Delinquency Survey issued by the Mortgage Bankers Association for the first quarter shows late mortgage payments and foreclosure starts have been dropping since the end of 2009. However, when you view the bigger picture, the housing market remains shaky, with millions of homeowners still at risk of losing their home.
One reason for recent improvements is that foreclosures have been delayed, not stopped, since many lenders have slowed action on delinquencies because of legal problems. As shown in this "Homes at Risk" chart, the longer view of mortgage performance reveals that delinquencies and foreclosures remain very high.
Based on this first-quarter 2011 report, we know that 4.8 million mortgage holders are at risk, or one in eleven. That's far worse than in the first quarter of 2007, when 1.6 million mortgage holders were at risk of losing their home, or one in 33. Even going back to 2003 before the housing bubble (not shown here), foreclosure trends were much better than today, with just over one million mortgage holders at risk of losing their home, or one in 38.
As federal regulators and state Attorneys General pursue actions to address foreclosure fraud and other serious problems in the loan servicing industry, they shouldn't get complacent about the need for strong action. After all, short-term thinking is what got us where we are today.
For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or email@example.com; Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Charlene Crowell at (919) 313-8523 or email@example.com.