05:05 AM

TransUnion: National Mortgage Loan Delinquencies Increase for Second Time Since 2009

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 14, 2012) - The national mortgage delinquency rate (the rate of borrowers 60 or more days past due) increased for only the second time since the end of 2009, edging upward to 6.01% at the end of the fourth quarter in 2011. This information is reported by TransUnion and is part of its ongoing series of quarterly analyses of credit-active U.S. consumers and how they are managing credit related to mortgages, credit cards and auto loans.

Between the third and fourth quarters of 2011, all but 13 states experienced increases in their mortgage delinquency rates. On a more granular level, 64% of metropolitan areas saw increases in their mortgage delinquency rates in Q4 2011. This is the same percentage as found in Q3 2011, but up from Q2 2011 when only 21% of MSAs experienced an increase.

"To see that, quarter over quarter, fewer homeowners were able to make their mortgage payments is not welcome news," said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "However, it was not unexpected. First, there tends to be a natural seasonality, evident well before the recession, of higher delinquencies in the fourth quarter; perhaps explained by borrowers balancing holiday spending vs. debt payments. Secondly, on the economic front, house prices continued to deteriorate in the fourth quarter and unemployment remained stubbornly high. This combination leads to more negative equity in homes and reduced real personal income that can affect borrowers' ability and willingness to pay their mortgages.

"The more encouraging news is that, when looking year over year, more homeowners are making their mortgage payments and the delinquency rate dropped over 6% since Q4 2010. While it is certainly good to see the rate dropping, at this pace it will take a very long time for mortgage delinquencies to get back to normal."

Many see the economic environment beginning to brighten, although modestly. Therefore, TransUnion's forecast predicts mortgage borrower delinquency rates to drift downward marginally in 2012, but in the meantime we may still see a quarter or two of slightly elevated nonpayment rates as some consumers are not able to, or decide not to, repay their mortgage debt obligations in light of the uncertain economic outlook.

TransUnion's forecast is based on various economic assumptions, such as gross state product, consumer sentiment, unemployment rates, real personal income, and real estate values. The forecast would change if there are unanticipated shocks to the economy affecting recovery in the housing market or if home prices fall more than expected.

Q4 2011 Mortgage Statistics -- Delinquency Rates

Quarter over Quarter Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA 5.88% 6.01% 2.21%

Year over year Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA 6.41% 6.01% (6.24%)

Highest Mortgage Delinquency States Q4 2011
Florida 14.27%
Nevada 12.08%
New Jersey 8.32%
Arizona 7.50%

Lowest Mortgage Delinquency States Q4 2011
North Dakota 1.50%
South Dakota 2.45%
Nebraska 2.57%
Alaska 2.77%

Top 3 Year-over-Year Increases Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
New Jersey 7.43% 8.32% 11.98%
Vermont 3.06% 3.40% 11.11%
South Dakota 2.22% 2.45% 10.36%

Top 3 Year-over-Year Declines Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
Arizona 9.70% 7.50% (22.68%)
California 9.14% 7.14% (21.88%)
Wyoming 3.42% 2.79% (18.42%)

Q4 2011 Mortgage Statistics -- Mortgage Debt Per Borrower

Quarter over Quarter Q3 2011 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA $190,382 $188,194 (1.15%)

Year over Year Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
USA $189,046 $188,194 (0.45%)

Highest Mortgage Debt States Q4 2011
District of Columbia $375,563
California $332,021
Hawaii $311,099
Maryland $249,148

Lowest Mortgage Debt States Q4 2011
West Virginia $100,982
Mississippi $107,755
Oklahoma $111,869
Arkansas $114,345

Top 3 Year-over-Year Increases Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
South Dakota $130,309 $135,999 4.37%
North Dakota $114,557 $118,147 3.13%
Iowa $120,371 $123,488 2.59%

Top 3 Year-over-Year Declines Q4 2010 Q4 2011 Pct. Change
Nevada $228,990 $219,095 (4.32%)
Arizona $202,976 $197,319 (2.79%)
California $339,088 $332,021 (2.08%)

Supporting Resources/Links

TransUnion Trend Data Interactive U.S. Map

TransUnion 2Q11 Mortgage Statistics

TransUnion Payment Hierarchy Study

TransUnion Deleveraging Analysis

TransUnion on Twitter

TransUnion's Trend Data database

TransUnion's Trend Data is a one-of-a-kind database consisting of 27 million anonymous consumer records randomly sampled every quarter from TransUnion's national consumer credit database. Each record contains more than 200 credit variables that illustrate consumer credit usage and performance. Since 1992, TransUnion has been aggregating this information at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state and national levels. For the purpose of this analysis, the term "credit card" refers to those issued by banks.

About TransUnion

As a global leader in information and risk management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering high quality data, and integrating advanced analytics and enhanced decision-making capabilities. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in 23 countries around the world. www.transunion.com/business