Cleveland Fed sees foreclosure rates higher in judicial states
Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland said Ohio has the sixth-highest percentage of all mortgage loans in foreclosure in the country at 4.82%, easily topping the other three states in the fourth district – Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. When foreclosures are settled outside the courts, as in non-judicial states, foreclosure rates are lower, the Cleveland Fed found. In judicial states, foreclosures rates remain high because the sales process takes longer, keeping the home in foreclosure status. While the Mountain State's delinquency rate has increased in tandem with Ohio’s since 2006, its foreclosure rate is considerably lower, and the Cleveland Fed economists attribute that to West Virginia resolving foreclosures without going before a judge. The analysts said while foreclosure rates in most states "tend to follow a similar trajectory as their delinquency rates…West Virginia has done fairly well at bucking this trend." The Cleveland Fed also said the percentage of delinquent loans in Ohio is now higher than the other fourth district states and the rest of the nation, as well. The analysts said 4.57% of all mortgages in the U.S. are currently in foreclosure, but the level is declining. The analysts said it's due to declines in adjustable-rate mortgages across all major loan types, particularly subprime loans, which are more likely to be delinquent and go into foreclosure. Nearly two-fifths of subprime loans have adjustable rates, according to the analysts, while 14% of prime mortgages are adjustable rate. Ohio’s current share of subprime loans is 12.1%, which is the fourth-highest in the nation behind Florida, Mississippi, and Nevada. But subprime loans are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of foreclosures in Ohio at 30.2%, according to the Fed analysts. Still, subprime loans accounted for half of all foreclosures in the state just four years ago, "illustrating how foreclosures have hit other loan types hard in recent years as well," the economists said. Write to Jason Philyaw.