Rising number of mortgages current, report shows, but foreclosures also on increase

Nearly 97% of mortgages were current and performing at the end of the first quarter of this year at federal banks and savings associations, up more than two percentage points from the same time a year ago, their regulator said Monday.

On the other hand, the report noted, foreclosures are up from the end of last year and a year ago.

In a report on mortgage metrics for the first quarter 2022, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said the 96.9% of mortgages current (compared to 94.2% at the end of the first quarter 2021) also reflected a shrinking delinquency rate. The OCC said its report showed that the percentage of seriously delinquent mortgages – mortgages 60 days or more past due and all mortgages held by bankrupt borrowers whose payments are 30 days or more past due – was 1.8% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 2.3% in the final quarter of 2021 and 4.6% a year ago.

Even though delinquencies are on the decline, foreclosures are rising, the report showed. Mortgage servicers started 19,524 new foreclosures in the first quarter of 2022, an increase from the prior quarter and a year earlier, the OCC report stated. “The new foreclosure volume in the first quarter of 2022 is comparable to pre-COVID-19 pandemic foreclosure volumes and reflects the expiration of federal foreclosure moratoria,” the report stated.

The OCC report accounts for 22% of all residential mortgage debt outstanding nationwide, with about 12.2 million loans and $2.6 trillion in principal balances, OCC said.

Other aspects of the report, the agency said, included:

  • Mortgage servicers completed 42,427 modifications in the first quarter of 2022, a drop of 10.7% from the previous quarter.
  • Of those modifications, 80.8% reduced borrowers’ monthly payments, and 41,318, or 97.4%, were “combination modifications” – modifications that included multiple actions affecting the affordability and sustainability of the loan, such as an interest rate reduction and a term extension.

OCC Reports Improvement in Overall Mortgage Performance