One of every 10 New York City mortgages were 90 days delinquent or in foreclosure as of the end of the first quarter, according to a study released by the New York Federal Reserve. The NY Fed studied data on roughly 483,000 mortgages. The ratio of seriously delinquent loans did vary by borough. In Manhattan for instance, one in 50 mortgages were in serious delinquency. But in Brooklyn and the Bronx, one in eight loans fell into serious trouble. New York, a judicial foreclosure state, experienced a backlog of roughly 80,000 foreclosure cases. Each property a bank repossessed in March spent an average 900 days in the system. An October rule change for banking attorneys kept the caseload from ballooning to as high as 100,000 by the end of the summer. By March, though, with the rule in place for about six months, the courts whittled the backlog down to 74,000. The shadow inventory in the state of New York — properties with mortgage borrowers more than 90 days delinquent — will take around 154 months to clear, according to Standard & Poor's. The NY Fed study showed more work to come. Half of the serious delinquent loans in New York City have not reached the foreclosure process yet even though the amount of mortgages entering foreclosure continued to rise. Nearly 29,000 mortgages hit the court system in the first quarter, representing 6% of all home loans in the city. That's more than double the percentage in 2009. (Click on chart to expand.)

The study did show some signs of improvement. The percentage of mortgages in 90-day delinquency dropped to a 3.8% share of all active home loans from 5.4% in February 2010. The amount of mortgages sliding into serious delinquency also slowed from one year ago. In the first quarter, roughly 0.4% of all mortgages in the city fell into 90-day delinquency, down nearly 30 basis points from one year ago. Home values, too, increased nearly 5% from one year ago in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Values remained flat on Staten Island and dipped roughly 5% for Queens and the Bronx. "Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures remain a serious concern for our region,” said Kausar Hamdani, head of regional and community Outreach at the NY Fed. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.