From the Philly Inquirer:
By now, you’ve likely heard that mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates are rising rapidly.
Fourth-quarter 2006 statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association of America show an increase of 57 basis points (a basis point is 1/100th of a percentage point) in the percentage of loans on which foreclosure was started in Pennsylvania (0.52 percent of all mortgages in the state).
Foreclosure and delinquency rates rose in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but they were not the most problematic states, even though they were ranked 19th and 13th, respectively, nationwide in the number of foreclosures in 2006.
Of 100 metropolitan areas surveyed by RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif., which tracks foreclosures, Philadelphia was 47th in the number of foreclosures in 2006. Detroit was first.
As predicted, the highest foreclosure rates in the fourth quarter were in Louisiana and Mississippi, because of the dislocation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and in the Rust Belt states of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, as well as the chunk of Pennsylvania from mid-state to the Ohio border, where loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs took a big toll.
Other states reporting major increases in foreclosure rates were Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and South Carolina. That was attributed to a slowing housing market and the increase in payments for riskier mortgages, including exotic and subprime adjustable-rate mortgages, said James J. Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.
In Pennsylvania, the fourth-quarter delinquency rate was highest for subprime loans, 15.82 percent, followed by FHA and VA loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association data says.