Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) has released it latest Mortgage Monitor report that shows February foreclosure starts and sales reversed course, declining on a month-over-month basis after January's sharp increase in activity. Foreclosure starts were down 15 percent from the month prior, with sales down 19 percent for the same period. Foreclosure sales decreased in both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states, dropping 22 and 19 percent month-over-month respectively in February.
The LPS mortgage performance data showed that, while January's increase in foreclosure sales was most pronounced in loans held on bank portfolios, the February drop was broad-based across all investor classes. Even accounting for the decrease in foreclosure sales, national pipeline ratios continue to decline off their peaks, but still differ sharply by region. As of the end of February, the average pipeline ratio in judicial states stood at 84 months, as compared to 33 months in non-judicial states. Pipeline ratios continue to be most pronounced in the Northeast, particularly in New York and New Jersey, where average pipelines remain at 846 and 772 months respectively.
The February mortgage performance data also showed that continued declines in new problem loan rates support improved delinquency rates nationwide. Seasonal patterns are also evident in cures from delinquency, with increased cure rates across almost all categories of delinquent loans. Additionally, first-time foreclosures remained stable as repeat foreclosures saw an 8 percent month-over-month decrease. At the same time however, new mortgage originations remain depressed, continuing a four-month decline.
As reported in LPS' First Look release, other key results from LPS' latest Mortgage Monitor report include:
►Total U.S. loan delinquency rate: 7.57 percent
►Month-over-month change in delinquency rate: -5.0 percent
►Total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: 4.13 percent
►Month-over-month change in foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: -0.5 percent
►States with highest percentage of non-current loans: Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey & Illinois
►States with the lowest percentage of non-current loans: Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota & North Dakota