Delinquencies hit 9-year high

by Ryan Smith23 Jun 2020

Mortgage delinquencies hit their highest level since 2011 in May after a 20% month-over-month spike, according to a new report from Black Knight.

While not on par with April’s record-breaking rise of 1.6 million, May still posted substantial delinquency numbers, with another 723,000 homeowners falling past due, according to the report. There are now 4.3 million delinquent homeowners (either past due or in active foreclosure), up from 2 million at the end of March.

“This includes those borrowers in forbearance who have missed payments,” Black Knight said.

Serious delinquencies are also on the upswing, with 631,000 borrowers now 90 or more days past due, Black Knight reported. Serious delinquencies have spiked more than 50% over the past two months. However, Black Knight found that a higher share of June payments have been made so far than at the same time in May, “suggesting the rise in delinquencies may be leveling off.”

“That said, the share of homeowners in forbearance who are making mortgage payments continues to decline,” Black Knight said. “In April, 46% had remitted their April mortgage payments. By the end of May, that number had fallen to 28%. As of June 15, just 15% had made their June payment.”

Despite the increase in delinquencies, COVID-19 foreclosure moratoriums have kept both foreclosure starts and completions at record lows. The share of homeowners in active foreclosure is the lowest it’s been since Black Knight began keeping track more than 20 years ago, the firm said.