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Mortgage Loan Delinquency Rates Rise, but Pace Is Slowing

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RISMEDIA, August 20, 2009-TransUnion.com released the results of its analysis of trends in the mortgage industry for the second quarter of 2009 and the associated impact on the U.S. consumer. The report is part of an ongoing series of quarterly consumer lending sector analyses focusing on credit card, auto loan and mortgage data. Information for this analysis is culled quarterly from approximately 27 million anonymous, randomly sampled, individual credit files, representing approximately 10 percent of credit-active U.S. consumers and providing a real-life perspective on how they are managing their credit health.

Mortgage loan delinquency (the ratio of borrowers 60 or more days past due) increased for the tenth straight quarter, hitting an all-time national average high of 5.81% for the second quarter of 2009. Traditionally seen as a precursor to foreclosures, this statistic is up 11.3% from the previous quarter’s 5.22% average. For comparison purposes, fourth quarter 2008 to first quarter 2009 saw an increase of almost 16%, indicating a continuing deceleration in delinquencies for the second quarter. Year-over-year, mortgage loan delinquency is up approximately 65% (from 3.53%).

Mortgage borrower delinquency rates in the second quarter of 2009 were highest in Nevada (13.8%) and Florida (12.3%), while the lowest mortgage delinquency rates were found in North Dakota (1.5%), South Dakota (2.1%) and Alaska (2.4%). The three areas showing the greatest percentage growth in delinquency from the previous quarter were Wyoming (+27.8%), Utah (+22.2%) and Hawaii (+21.7%). However, there were some bright spots: North Dakota and Ohio both showed a decline in mortgage delinquency rates, down 0.66% and 0.22% from the previous quarter, respectively.

The average national mortgage debt per borrower dropped (0.86%) to $193,811 from the previous quarter’s $195,500. On a year-over-year basis, the second quarter 2009 average represents a 0.59% increase over the second quarter 2008 average mortgage debt per consumer of $192,681. The area with the highest average mortgage debt per borrower was the District of Columbia at $360,891, followed by California at $359,442 and Hawaii at $314,495. The lowest average mortgage debt per borrower was in West Virginia at $97,979. Quarter to quarter, Alaska showed the greatest percentage increase in mortgage debt (+4.5%), followed by North Dakota (+2.2%) and Alabama (+1.5%). Areas showing the largest percentage drop in average mortgage debt were Ohio (-4.4%), Idaho (-3.7%) and Connecticut (-3.0%).

“In its first quarter analysis, TransUnion reported a potential positive sign in mortgage delinquency rate trends. For the first time since the recession began at the end of 2007, the quarter-to-quarter growth rate for national mortgage delinquency showed a decrease,” said FJ Guarrera, vice president of TransUnion’s financial services division. “Now, with the release of second quarter results, we see even more deceleration in mortgage delinquency, an indication that the mortgage market is beginning to stabilize.

“There are several complementary economic statistics at the national level to support this guarded optimism, such as the increase in consumer confidence in the second quarter. As for the labor market, although unemployment had continued to rise through the second quarter, July figures for unemployment insurance were lower than expected. Furthermore, recent figures from the government show the unemployment rate actually dipping to 9.4% nationally in July. These encouraging economic signs, coupled with a decrease in the rate of mortgage delinquency growth, suggest that we may have seen the worst of the recession. This is particularly noteworthy, in that delinquency statistics are generally lagging indicators of the economic environment,” continued Guarrera.

For more information, visit www.transunion.com.

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