Record-Low Rates a Lifeline for Delinquent Owners

Low mortgage rates may also be helping to keep elevated delinquencies in check, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

"Our analysis of CoreLogic public records shows that more than one-half of all home mortgage loans created since the onset of the pandemic have been no-cash-out refinance," says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "By reducing their mortgage rate with these types of loans, homeowners have been lowering both their interest expense and risk of delinquency."

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and hampers the economy, many homeowners may be looking for greater mortgage relief. Foreclosure moratoriums are in place and many lenders are offering assistance to those struggling.

Regardless, the rate of non-current loans is significantly higher this year due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. The national delinquency rate—loans that are 30 or more days past due or are in foreclosure—stands at 6.3%, which is higher than the 3.8% rate from a year ago, according to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Report.

“Although delinquencies remain high, it’s clear the economy has passed an initial stress test,” says Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “High home equity balances and structural protections put in place as a result of the Great Recession contributed to surviving the test. Housing demand remains strong, and rates low, which provides optimism that the housing market will continue to be a bright spot in this COVID-ravaged economy.”

The foreclosure inventory rate—the share of mortgages in some stage of foreclosure—is at the lowest rate since at least January 1999. In response to the pandemic, Congress issued a foreclosure moratorium as part of the CARES Act to help homeowners who may be struggling to make payments.

Still, every state saw its delinquency rate increase in September compared to a year earlier. States that rely heavily on tourism have been hit hardest, such as Nevada, Hawaii, and Florida, CoreLogic’s report shows.

Written by: Mortgage News Daily for

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