Number of serious US prime mortgage delinquencies surges 20pc in 12 weeks

City A.M. Reporter
SERIOUS delinquencies among US prime mortgages rose nearly 20 percent in the third quarter from the prior quarter, as the percentage of current and performing mortgages fell for the sixth consecutive quarter, banking regulators said on Monday.

The report by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision, which are part of the Treasury Department, covered about two-thirds of all US mortgages. It found 3.6 per cent of prime mortgages -- those made to the most credit-worthy borrowers -- were seriously delinquent in the third quarter. That was more than double the year-ago quarter and up nearly 20 per cent from the 2009 second quarter.

The report defined “serious delinquencies” as those loans 60 days or more past due and loans to delinquent bankrupt borrowers.

Big US banks and thrifts carried out 2.4m home loan modifications, trial period plans or payment plans in the quarter, spurred mostly by a government plan offered by President Barack Obama, according to the report.

Most came from the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program. Mortgage servicers carried out 274,000 trial plans in the third quarter, up 240 per cent from the second quarter when the plan was launched. But only one per cent of those had been converted to permanent modifications as of 3 September 2009, the report said.