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Serious home loan delinquencies are above 10% of mortgages in California

Signs of a bottoming economy are popping up here and there. But serious mortgage delinquencies are still rising in the nation -- and have jumped above 10% in California, according to a report today from TransUnion.

The credit information supplier says that during the third quarter, nearly 10.2% of home loans in the Golden State were 60 days or more past due. That was up from 9.7% in the second quarter and 5.8% in the third quarter of 2008.

California’s delinquency rate was far more severe than the national average of 6.25% (up from nearly 4% a year earlier) and higher than in all but three states.

Nevada topped the list at 14.5%, followed by Florida at 13.3% and Arizona at 10.4%. At the other end of the scale, only 1.7% of North Dakota homeowners were seriously behind in paying and just 2.31% in South Dakota.

California ranked second in the nation in mortgage debt per borrower at $354,510, nosed out by  the District of Columbia at $359,788. The home loan debt per California borrower was down from both the second quarter this year ($359,442) and the third quarter last year ($358,899).

TransUnion said it compiles its statistics by randomly sampling about 27 million credit files, or 10% of U.S. consumers who use credit. The Mortgage Bankers Assn.’s separate study of mortgage delinquencies is expected Thursday morning.  But it would be surprising if its findings differed much, TransUnion officials said.

“Until the housing market can consistently demonstrate several months of home value appreciation and the unemployment rate improves, mortgage delinquency will likely continue to rise,” said F.J. Guarrera, vice president of TransUnion’s financial services division.

-- E. Scott Reckard
 
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