Percentage of Overdue American Mortgages Rises

In a reversal of recent trends, the number of people who let their mortgage payments slide for a month past the due date jumped to 3.5 percent in the second quarter, according to a survey by the Mortgage Bankers of America.

That’s down from a high of 3.77 percent reached in the economically calamitous first quarter of 2009, but higher than the fourth quarter 2009 rate of 3.31 percent.

Mortgage Bankers Association chief economist Jay Brinkmann said that this is because of how hard it is to get a job, which makes sense, because it gets pretty hard to pay a mortgage without any income. Also, “some percentage of the loans modified over the last several years have become delinquent again because those borrowers, by definition, have weak credit.” Some people are just bad at paying for things!

On the bright side, serious delinquencies, in which borrowers have lapsed in payment by 90 days or more, declined for the second quarter. But it’s probably not good to see that the one-month lapses are on the rise. A good way to fall 90 days behind in payment is to first fall 30 days behind.