Mortgage Delinquencies Rates Fall, But Many Protections Are Expiring

February 9, 2021

The number of mortgage delinquencies fell in November to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic but remains much higher than before the pandemic.

Roughly 6% of all U.S. mortgages, which amounts to 2.7 million homes, were delinquent at the end of November, according to data from CoreLogic. About 4% of all mortgages are considered “seriously delinquent,” meaning more than 90 days past due. Prior to the pandemic, only about 1% of mortgages were seriously delinquent.

Most of these mortgages are in some form of forbearance, and while the number of mortgages in forbearance has fallen in recent months, there is concern that the 5% or so that remain will be unable to catch up on their payments. This concern is exacerbated by the impending expiration of forbearance programs. More than half of the 2.7 million forbearance plans are going to reach their one-year expiration point between March and June, and analysts worry we could see a wave of foreclosures and short sales if these programs are not extended.

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