TransUnion sees mortgage delinquency rate drop

TransUnion, one of the nation’s three largest credit reporting bureaus, announced that the national mortgage loan delinquency rate decreased for the fourth straight quarter at the end of last year.

During this time, the mortgage loan delinquency rate – the ratio of homeowners more than 60 days late on payments – fell to 6.41 percent, down 0.47 percent from the third quarter when it was 6.44 percent.

While the finding contributed to a recent series of improvements for U.S. homeowners, it was the smallest decrease in the delinquency rate observed since the end of the recession, the report said. Despite this, the rate was down 7 percent from figures observed at the end of 2009.

“These models now suggest that the 60-day mortgage delinquency rate will likely be flat or edge up next quarter, but then begin to drift lower by year end,” said Tim Martin, group vice president of the U.S. Housing Market at TransUnion.

In addition, TransUnion found a decrease in later-stage late payments, which indicates the foreclosure rate is likely to continue to decline. The news follows recent reports that consumers also continued to make more timely payments on credit card debt at the end of 2010.