Number of homeowners facing foreclosure approaches 20-year low

Underwriting, income and house prices play a role

The share of mortgages in foreclosure just fell to the lowest rate in 19 years, according to the latest report from CoreLogic.

In January, the share of foreclosures fell to 0.4%, tying with December and November for the lowest rate in the 2000s.

And, the percentage of mortgages that were in some stage of delinquency – or 30 days or more past due – also fell. The data shows delinquent mortgages totaled just 4% in January – the lowest rate for the month in at least 20 years.

According to CoreLogic, elevated home prices, income growth and improved mortgage underwriting have helped homeowners stay current on their payments.

The data revealed that delinquencies in all stages declined in the first month of this year.

Early stage delinquencies – or mortgages that are 30 to 59 days past due – fell 2% from the previous year, and delinquencies in the 60- to 89-day range fell 0.8% from last year.

Meanwhile, the serious delinquency rate – which includes loans in foreclosure – fell 2.1% from the previous year to just 1.4%, the lowest rate since September 2006.

CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said he expects delinquency rates, which are down in almost all parts of the country, to continue their decline

“As the economic expansion continues to create jobs and low mortgage rates support home buying this spring, delinquency rates are likely to trend lower during the coming year,” said Martell.


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