The share of borrowers who were late on their mortgage payments dropped in May

National mortgage delinquency rate dropped 11 bps to 3.10% in May from 3.31% in April, according to Black Knight

The mortgage delinquency rate fell 11 basis points to 3.10% in May, the second lowest national mortgage delinquency rate ever seen.

In May, the number of borrowers just one payment behind improved by 94,000, erasing nearly half of April’s increase, according to Black Knight. (Delinquency numbers in April spiked because the month ended on a Sunday and payments made by borrowers on the last few days of the month couldn’t be processed immediately.)

Meanwhile, the population of “seriously delinquent homeowners” (90 or more days past due on their mortgages) continues to shrink, falling by another 18,000 in April. This puts that population, which currently clocks in at roughly 480,000 in total, down 200,000 from this time last year.  

On the foreclosure side, foreclosure starts ticked up by 2.2%, which came to 25,400 for the month. May’s foreclosure start volume is just a hair above April’s six-month low and, is still running 41% below 2019 levels.

The number of loans in active foreclosure fell by 4,000 from April and is now down 41,000 (-15%) from where we were in March 2020. Foreclosure actions were started on 5.1% of serious delinquencies, up slightly from April, but a full percentage point below March 2020.

The number of loans in active foreclosure improved by 4,000 and is down 15% from March 2020, with foreclosure sales rising 5.5% from April.

Meanwhile, prepayment activity, historically driven largely by refinances and home sales, ticked up again as the market responds to volatile interest rate changes. With a single-month mortality rate of 0.54%, prepays hit their highest level since September of last year, when rates were in the low to mid 6’s for much of the month.

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