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No change yet in trend of slow clearance for bad mortgages [ClearOnMoney]
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No change yet in trend of slow clearance for bad mortgages

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Commentary

No change yet in trend of slow clearance for bad mortgages

3 Apr 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Regarding the clearance of the backlog of bad mortgages, primarily (in the long run) through home forfeitures, there are two comprehensive, quarterly sources that are slow to appear but reliable and worth watching, and two monthly sources that are more timely but sporadic and noisy. This post provides an update on all four. The short story is that there is no big change in trend.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently provided its Foreclosure Prevention Report for Q4 of 2011. This showed that Fannie and Freddie's backlog of bad loans continued to slowly come down through the end of last year, but there was still a very long ways to go. There was no major change in the home forfeiture rate over the most recent few quarters:

The Mortgage Metrics Report, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, reports results for all major lenders with a national charter (comprising about 60% of all mortgages); these data show similar trends:

Here are these two home forfeiture rates together:

The forfeiture rate dropped off after the robo-signing scandal came up. It may rise again this year, with a settlement in place, but it may be some time yet before this shows up in the data. Below are monthly data through February; the big spike that appeared in January in the data from Lender Processing Services has been reversed:

(For background and sources see the Reference page US home forfeitures and other pages linked to there.)