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Despite HAMP, Mortgage Delinquency Grows 21% over 2009: LPS

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The number of mortgages delinquent at the end of February 2010 is 21.3% higher than the same time last year despite government-led modification efforts, according to the latest monthly report from Lender Processing Services (LPS). Both delinquent and foreclosure inventories remain bloated as high volumes of problem loans remain held up in pipeline due to loss mitigation efforts and foreclosure moratoria, LPS found in the report (download here): Delinquencies recorded a seasonal decline from 10.25% a month earlier, but the national delinquency rate remains high at 10.2%, based on LPS's study of 40m loans nationwide. Despite a rise in "cures-to-current" status -- when delinquent loans remain current during the three-month trial under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) -- advanced delinquency rolls of loans rolling into later stages of delinquency "remain elevated from a historical perspective," LPS said in a statement. LPS also found that foreclosure inventory reached another record high. February's foreclosure rate of 3.31% represented a 51% increase over 2009. More than 7.9m first-lien mortgages are in non-current or real estate owned (REO) status, LPS said. The percentage of problem loans as well as new problem loans remains at a five-year high. More than 1.1m loans that started 2010 in current status were at least 30 days delinquent or in foreclosure by the end of February. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investment positions.

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