According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the number of borrowers who were late on their mortgage payments rose to 12.87% in the second quarter of 2011. Prior to the second quarter of this year, the number of homeowners who were delinquent on their mortgage payments had been decreasing for over a year.
The 12.87% refers to mortgages that were at least 30 days overdue or in the foreclosure process. The second quarter figure represents a decrease from the 14.4% in the second quarter of 2010, but a slight increase from the 12.84% at the end of the first quarter of this year. The figure corresponds to 6.3 million homeowners who are behind on their mortgages.
The actual foreclosure rate is near its lowest in four years. However, this is largely due to government assistance programs and an investigation into foreclosure documents that has caused lenders to delay foreclosing. The increase in late mortgage payments illustrates how the rise in unemployment can affect the struggling housing market.
Maggie Shader, Delinquent Mortgage Payments on the Rise (accessed August 25, 2011).