Black Knight: National Mortgage Delinquency Rate Decreased Sharply in March

Note: Loans in forbearance are counted as delinquent in this survey, but those loans are not reported as delinquent to the credit bureaus.

From Black Knight: Black Knight’s First Look: National Mortgage Delinquency Rate Plunges Nearly a Full Percentage Point in March as Calendar and Economy Drive Improvement

The national delinquency rate fell to 5.02% from 6.00% in February – a 16.4% decline – driven by a combination of economic and calendar-related tailwinds

• Over the past 20 years, delinquencies have fallen by nearly 10% on average in March due to tax return and other seasonal funds being used by homeowners to pay down past-due mortgage debt

• The decline was stronger than usual due to both January and February ending on Sunday – which tends to dampen performance and lead to following-month gains – as well as broader economic improvements

• Despite March’s strong performance, some 1.9 million mortgage-holders – including those in active forbearance – are at least 90 days past due on payments

• There are 1.5 million more such serious delinquencies than at the onset of the pandemic, nearly five times pre-pandemic levels

• Active foreclosures fell to yet another record low in March due to widespread moratoriums and forbearance utilization limiting both foreclosure inflow and outflow

• Prepayments rose by 17% in March to the highest level in more than 17 years driven by a seasonal rise in home sales alongside a rise in refinance activity locked in before rates began to rise in mid-February
emphasis added

According to Black Knight’s First Look report, the percent of loans delinquent decreased 16.4% in March compared to February, and increased 48% year-over-year.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process decreased 3.6% in March and were down 27% over the last year.

Black Knight reported the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) was 5.02% in March, down from 6.00% in February.

The percent of loans in the foreclosure process decreased in March to 0.30%, from 0.32% in February.

The number of delinquent properties, but not in foreclosure, is up 880,000 properties year-over-year, and the number of properties in the foreclosure process is down 58,000 properties year-over-year.

Black Knight: Percent Loans Delinquent and in Foreclosure Process
Delinquent 5.02% 6.00% 3.39% 3.65%
In Foreclosure 0.30% 0.32% 0.42% 0.51%
Number of properties:
Number of properties
that are delinquent,
but not in foreclosure:
2,672,000 3,186,000 1,792,000 1,903,000
Number of properties
in foreclosure
pre-sale inventory:
162,000 168,000 220,000 264,000
Total Properties 2,834,000 3,354,000 2,013,000 2,167,000