Wisonsin-based mortgage banker Marshall & Ilsley (MI) today extended its voluntary foreclosure moratorium an additional 90 days. The foreclosure freeze, initially adopted in December 2008, applies to all owner-occupied residential loans for customers that agree to work toward a repayment agreement. The moratorium is now effective for all applicable loans in all M&I markets through Sept. 30, 2009. September marks the 10th consecutive month the moratorium will have been in effect since its announcement in December. The freeze is part of M&I's Homeowner Assistance Program, which offers proactive assistance to borrowers identified as "potentially distressed," according to a company statement today. The program's "foreclosure abatement" efforts include refinancing options like term extensions and reduced rates. The extended moratorium comes as the total mortgage delinquency rate among all product types -- 8.49% in May -- marks a 50% increase from the rate seen at the year-ago time, according to Lender Processing Services. The spiking delinquency rate indicates worsening overall mortgage performance and a significant opportunity for loss mitigation efforts at mortgage bankers like M&I. Write to Diana Golobay.