Florida tops nation in delinquent and foreclosed loans, shadow inventory feared
by Kim Miller
About 23 percent of Florida’s home loans are either delinquent or in foreclosure, topping the national average of 13 percent and ranking the Sunshine State no. 1 for troubled mortgages.
The data, released late Monday by Jacksonville-based Lending Processing Services, is a review of December mortgage performance.
Nevada ranked second nationwide with 22.4 percent of its homeowners either late on their mortgage payments or in foreclosure.
The report also considered home loans that were current in December 2008, but which had fallen behind as of last month.
Nevada had 13 percent of its loans that were current a year ago now in delinquency _ the highest in the nation _ but Florida ranked second with 9 percent.
Despite the high delinquency rates, the number of foreclosure starts nationwide has declined. Holiday respites given by some banks in December may be the cause for the reduction, but the report found the number of loans deteriorating further into delinquent status is more than three times the volume of foreclosure starts.
Foreclosure starts nationwide in December declined to below 150,000 for the first time in 10 months.
The statistics could lend credence to the concerns of some analysts that a shadow inventory of foreclosures is lurking. The fear is a large release of foreclosures could crash the healing market, driving down home prices while making it flush with inventory.
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