Number of underwater mortgages drops

Number of underwater mortgages dropsBy Dees Stribling | MHN Online

Black Knight (formerly LPS) released its Mortgage Monitor report for March on Monday, reporting that 5.52 percent of U.S. residential mortgages were delinquent for the month, down from 5.97 percent in February (more than 30 days late, but not in foreclosure). Also, 2.13 percent of mortgages were in foreclosure in March, down from 3.38 percent a year earlier.

The report also noted that fewer homeowners now have negative equity than previously. Four years ago, about 34 percent of borrowers were in negative equity positions, according to Black Knight. As of March, that number has dropped to just about 10 percent of active mortgage loans

“Two years of relatively consecutive home price increases and a general decline in the number of distressed loans have contributed to a decreasing number of underwater borrowers,” says Kostya Gradushy, Black Knight’s manager of Loan Data and Customer Analytics. “Overall, nearly half of all borrowers today are both in positive equity positions and of strong credit quality—credit scores of 700 or above. Four years ago, that category of borrowers represented over a third of active mortgages.”

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