Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

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Lending

New originations drop 30%, loan delinquencies decline

Low interest rates are spurring some activity in the mortgage market, but opportunities for borrowers with low credit scores are limited, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor Report from LPS Applied Analytics. New loan originations, overall, fell 30% year-over-year in November, with LPS reporting 537,720 originations in November, compared to 724,364 in December 2010. The report did not include new origination amounts for December 2011. Vintage originations for the years 2010 and 2011 show a heightened focus on loan quality. Only six percent of 2011 originations, not backed by the Federal Housing Administration, had credit scores lower than 660 and a loan-to-value ratio greater than 80, LPS noted. Meanwhile, FHA loan production accounted for 22% of all the originations made through the first eleven months of the year. Delinquencies in December were down 25% compared to the peak reached in January 2010. The delinquency rate stood at 8.15% in December, down 7.7% from a year earlier, while the seriously delinquent rate on loans more than 90 past due hit 7.67%, down 5.9% from last year. LPS said there's still a lag in getting foreclosures through the default pipeline with 50% of loans in foreclosure within judicial states not having made a payment in two years, compared to 28% in non-judicial states. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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