Foreclosure rate retreats from record high

MBA: Improvement in performance of 2005-07 loans

The percentage of homeowners with mortgages who were in foreclosure or seriously delinquent fell during the first three months of the year, and improvement in the performance of loans taken out from 2005-07 suggests a sustainable trend, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today in releasing its quarterly National Delinquency Survey.

The serious delinquency rate — the percentage of loans in foreclosure or delinquent by 90 days or more — was 8.1 percent during the first quarter, down from 8.6 percent during the last three months of 2010 and 9.54 percent a year ago.

The percentage of mortgages in foreclosure was 4.52 percent, down from a record high of 4.64 percent in the fourth quarter, and the percentage of loans behind by 90 days or more dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter, to 3.58 percent.

"Of particular importance is that the drop in the percentage of loans 90 days or more past due was driven by improving numbers for loans originated between 2005 and 2007," said MBA chief economist Jay Brinkmann, in a statement.