The number of serious delinquencies are no cause for concern, however
Black Knight has released its month-end mortgage performance for February, with particular focus on the sudden increase in national delinquency rates.
The month saw the delinquency rate rose for the first time in nine months, driven by a 97,000 rise in early-stage delinquencies — but these are still well below pre-pandemic levels, it was revealed.
Meanwhile, the total number of past-due loans went up 1.8% last month, with almost two million properties not in foreclosure but having over 30 days of past-due loans.
Foreclosures saw a sizeable spike in January but dropped 24% in February. This is in line with how serious delinquencies fell by 72,000 as borrowers left forbearance plans and returned to making payments. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are the top three states with seriously delinquent mortgages at over 90 days past due.
Foreclosure starts were at 25,000 last month, but this is still 25% below pre-pandemic levels. By the end of February, Black Knight noted a stark 39,000 increase in active foreclosures.
Likewise, pre-payment activities dropped another 11% in February, almost achieving the lowest percentage in three years as rising rates continued to impact refinance volumes. Black Knight is expected to provide a more in-depth review by April 04.