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Delinquent mortgages, foreclosures outnumber distressed sales 50:1

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The number of properties delinquent 90 or more days or in foreclosure outnumber foreclosure sales 50 to 1, according to the Lender Processing Services' (LPS) mortgage monitor report for May. The mortgage and real estate technology firm said the total delinquency rate for U.S. mortgage was 7.96% in May, down just 0.1% from April and 18.3% lower than a year earlier. LPS said foreclosure sales slowed considerably on the East Coast last month, with declines of 96% in Washington, 80% in Maryland, 79% in New York and 75% in New Jersey. "In fact, there are still significantly fewer foreclosure sales than there were before foreclosure moratoria were put into place, and foreclosure sales are declining," LPS said. Last fall, the nation's largest mortgage lenders suspended the foreclosure process across the country in the wake of the robo-signing fiasco. More than one-third of home loan borrowers in foreclosure haven't made a payment in more than two years, according to LPS. The company said the number of new problem loans — mortgages that were current six moths ago and are now more than 60-days delinquent — in May slowed and are less than half peak levels of 2009. Still, LPS said delinquencies are almost double historical norms and foreclosures are eight times higher. "Negative equity also remains a concern, with nearly 30% of current loans in a negative equity position," according to LPS. "The equity impact on new seriously delinquent loans is significant, with loans significantly underwater defaulting up to 10 times as much as loans with equity." Write to Jason Philyaw.

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