New foreclosure trouble brewing as late payments rise?

Several states across the Northeast are seeing a sharp jump in homeowners falling behind on their mortgages.

That’s the word out from TransUnion, which released its third quarter mortgage delinquency numbers over the weekend. The biggest increases in late payments were seen in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut at the region’s core, as well as in outliers like Maine and Delaware.

Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as another swath of New England states – Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – saw less dramatic increases.

The regional rise bucks a national trend that is seeing a slow but steady decline in mortgage delinquencies from a record-shattering peak in 2009. (That is with the exception of the Great Depression, which saw half of all homeowners either fall behind on their payments or face foreclosure.)
While the national rate is up, year over year, at 6.44 percent, it has been falling steadily on a quarter-by-quarter basis, TransUnion reports.

A sluggish economy that still feels like a recession to many of us is clearly continuing to take a toll. Check out this Boston Sunday Globe story. Three quarters of all Massachusetts residents say the recession has not ended for them, with more than half seeing no break in the tough conditions for at least two more years, according to a Globe/Suffolk University poll.

Try as I might, I couldn’t find third quarter data for Massachusetts. I will be calling the TransUnion public relations flak this morning to fill in that gap and will post the data when I get it.

The Bay State’s delinquency rate stood at just over 5 percent of all borrowers in the second quarter, far above historical norms of 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

What’s your take? Are you falling behind on your payments – or hesitating to buy because of a still uncertain economy?


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