August 15, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

More homeowners were able to make their payments in the second quarter of 2012 as the national mortgage delinquency rate fell to 5.49 percent according to TransUnion. It was the second consecutive quarter that the national mortgage delinquency rate has improved.

Forty-five states in the country reported that delinquency rates had improved between the first and second quarter of this year while 76 percent of the metropolitan areas reported that delinquency rates had also improved, up from 73 percent in the first quarter.

A year ago, the national mortgage delinquency rate stood at 5.82 percent.

Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing in TransUnion’s financial services business unit, stated, “While it is a positive sign to see mortgage delinquency rates decrease, meaning more and more homeowners were able to make their mortgage payments, the rate of the decline is still not at a pace that will push levels significantly closer to pre-recession norms. The pace of improvement should pick up when we review third quarter results, helped by a few months of relatively good news on home prices, this year’s resurgence in refinance activity related to HARP 2.0 and record low mortgage interest rates.”

The state with the highest delinquency rate in the nation was Florida where 13.48 percent of the mortgages were delinquent, followed by Nevada at 10.85 percent and New Jersey at 8.15 percent. These three states were also the top three states in the tfirst quarter.

The state with the lowest delinquency rate was North Dakota at 1.32 percent, followed by South Dakota at 1.94 percent and Nebraska at 2.24 percent. These were also the three states with the lowest delinquency rates in the first quarter.

The amount of mortgage debt per borrower increased slightly from the previous quarter but was down from the previous year. The average mortgage debt per borrower in the second quarter was $188,341 compared to $188,196 in the first quarter and $189,205 in the second quarter of 2011.

Washington D.C. had the highest mortgage debt per borrower at $374,709, while borrowers in West Virginia had the lowest mortgage debt of $106,533.

Tags: TransUnion, mortgage delinquency rate, mortgage debt, mortgage payments, negative equity, price depreciation