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Foreclosures on the rise

Bad news for the housing market was delivered Aug. 22 by the Mortgage Bankers Association, which reported that the percentage of homeowners who have missed at least one mortgage payment on their homes has risen for the second straight quarter. 

The delinquency rate, which does not include loans in the process of foreclosure, dropped 4.43% at the end of the second quarter, down nine basis points from the first quarter. But the delinquency rate was an improvement from a year ago, when it was 14 basis points lower.

The combined percentage of loans in foreclosure plus those with at least one payment past due was 12.5%, a 23-basis point increase from last quarter, but 143 basis points lower than a year ago. 

"While overall mortgage delinquencies increased only slightly between the first and second quarters of this year, it is clear that the downward trend we saw through most of 2010 has stopped. Mortgage delinquencies are no longer improving and are now showing some signs of worsening," said Jay Brinkmann, MBA's chief economist. "The good news is the continued decline in long-term delinquencies, those mortgages that are three payments or more past due. The bad news is that drop is offset by an increase in newly delinquent loans one payment past due." 

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