Delinquencies in Mortgages, Credit Cards Rise

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As a nation, we’re collectively late with our payments again. For one, the rate of 60-day delinquencies among homeowners — basically two missed mortgage payments — rose in the September quarter, according to TransUnion. The jump from 5.82% to 5.88% is the first rise in the delinquency rate in two years.

TransUnion’s nifty delinquency map (which shows that the good people of North Dakota get a responsibility prize) shows that the West, the Sun Belt, Illinois and parts of the Northeast are still hurting, with 18 states showing delinquency rates of greater than 5%.

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The highest is in Florida, which has a delinquency rate of 14.08%. That’s not as bad as it might sound, since it takes forever to clear out foreclosures in the Sunshine State (a friend of mine reports finally getting out from under an investment property after nearly three years). As such, the high delinquency rate reflects a lot of “old” troubled properties that are gradually working their way through the system.

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Still, the overall rise in mortgage delinquencies is a bad sign, especially when you note that credit-card delinquencies are up for the fourth straight month, according to the Associated Press, which reverses a trend that began last year and lasted through May.