Mortgage Delinquencies Reach an All-Time High in Minnesota

92,500 Minnesota homeowners are facing or are in foreclosure. The Mortgage Bankers Association says that roughly 62,000 Minnesota mortgage holders were behind on their payments in the third quarter, a record high. Loans in the process of foreclosure rose in the state and the nation from July through September of this year.

Nationwide, there are about 4.3 million mortgages that are at least 30 days past due. That's the highest since the association started tracking data in 1972. Minnesota ranks 39th in the number of delinquencies but 15th in foreclosures started. Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada lead the nation in mortgage problems.

The Minnesota Home Ownership Center, which provides housing counseling, is seeing demand for its services grow. The group counseled 12,000 individuals last year. They expect to serve 15,000 consumers by year-end.
Of concern to the state's housing experts is the shift from the bulk of troubled loans being the subprime variety to being prime loans -- a sign the rising unemployment is crimping the ability of some homeowners to keep current on their loans. Prime loans are available to borrowers who can prove their income, have good credit histories and who have shown that they pay their bills consistently and on time.

The number of delinquent prime loans in Minnesota climbed 5.17 percent in the third quarter compared with the second quarter and the percentage of prime loans in foreclosure grew 2.41 percent. Nationally, prime delinquent loans rose 6.94 percent and foreclosures grew 3.2 percent. The association's numbers aren't seasonally adjusted.
The trend seems to reflect of the state of the economy. People who have otherwise been able to make their payments are now being impacted by a decrease of income or unemployment. The effect the foreclosure homes may have on the market is to continue holding down prices and keeping inventory up.

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