2016 Brought Largest Foreclosure Decline on Record by Timothy Mc

The foreclosure rate for 2016 had the largest improvement of any year since 2000, according to Black Knight Financial Services Inc.’s (BKFS) First Look at December.

Only 0.95 percent of active mortgages at the end of 2016 were in some stage of the foreclosure process, which amounts to a year-over-year reduction of 30 percent in foreclosure rates. The month of December was down 3.30 percent from November’s foreclosure rate.

“Throughout much of the past year, the rate of improvement in the nation’s active foreclosure inventory continued to pick up pace,” noted Ben Graboske, EVP for BKFS’ Data & Analytics division. “As strong performance of recent originations kept the influx of new problem loans very low from a historical perspective, the industry continued to work through older loans in active foreclosure still lingering—in most cases—from the crisis years. Together, these two factors contributed to increasing the rate of improvement in a trend that we’ve actually been seeing for several years now.”

The elimination of problematic, high-risk loans, which dominated the mortgage lending market during the housing crisis of 2008, paved the way for newly structured loans which had a considerable lower level of risk and chance of default, which resulted in a lower overall foreclosure rate nationwide.

The five states with the highest level of delinquencies and foreclosures as a percentage of the total amount of active loans in the state, also known as the non-current rate, were Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama, and New Jersey. Mississippi was at the top of the list with a non-current percentage of 11.36, while New Jersey came in fifth at 7.79 percent.

The percentage of loan delinquency rates which were past 30 days due but not yet in foreclosure was 4.42 percent in December, which represents a 0.91 percent decline from November and a 7.49 percent reduction from the previous year.

The regulatory measures initiated by Dodd Frank regarding the issuance of loans, which are intended to stifle the production of high-risk loans, appear to be having the intended effect, so it is imperative that the new presidential administration carefully consider which aspects of Dodd-Frank can be rolled back without detrimentally affecting the housing market.

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