In September, foreclosure inventory in the U.S. fell to its lowest level in more than six years while delinquencies also significantly declined, according to Black Knight Financial Services' "First Look" at September Mortgage Data released on Friday.
The percentage of current residential mortgage loans in some state of foreclosure fell to 1.76 percent, its lowest level since February 2008, according to Black Knight. The overall number of mortgage loans in the foreclosure process totaled about 893,000 for September, a decline of 33 percent from the same month a year ago when about 1.33 million mortgage loans were in foreclosure.
Month-over-month, foreclosure inventory dropped by 20,000, a 2.2. percent decrease, according to Black Knight.
Residential mortgage loans that were delinquent, or "non-current" (30 days or more overdue but not in foreclosure), totaled about 2.9 million in September, Black Knight reported. This number represented a decline of 3.9 percent (about 117,000 loans), nearly erasing the increase delinquent loans experienced in August. The number of delinquent loans is down 12.2 percent since September 2013.
The top five states for highest non-current mortgage loan percentage were Mississippi (14.4 percent), New Jersey (12.2 percent), Louisiana (11.2 percent), New York (10.7 percent), and Florida (10.6 percent), according to Black Knight. The five states with the lowest non-current mortgage loan percentage were North Dakota (2.4 percent), South Dakota (3.6 percent), Colorado (3.7 percent), Montana (3.9 percent), and Minnesota (4.0 percent).
The number of mortgage loans that were 30 days or more overdue on payments or in foreclosure also took a dive in September, according to Black Knight. The number was reported at about 3.8 million for the month, a decline of 137,000 from August and 822,000 from September 2013.
The total number of seriously delinquent loans (90 or more days overdue) fell by about 25,000 from August to September down to 1.1 million, the lowest total since August 2008, according to Black Knight. In September 2013, about 1.33 million residential mortgage loans were seriously delinquent. The top five states for highest seriously delinquent rates were Mississippi (5.3 percent), Alabama (3.6 percent), Rhode Island (3.53 percent), Louisiana (3.52 percent), and Massachusetts (3.3 percent), Black Knight reported.
Foreclosure starts increased by 11.5 percent in September, up to 91,000, Black Knight reported. However, there was a decline in foreclosure starts year-over-year of 16.5 percent.