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Home foreclosures jumped in third quarter, federal report says

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Newly initiated home foreclosures by the large national banks increased 21.1% in the three months ending Sept. 30 as mortgage servicers lifted voluntary holds on such activity because of paperwork problems, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported Wednesday.

The jump from the second quarter of the year came as the number of homeowners who were delinquent on their mortgages remained stable, although still high, the OCC said in its quarterly Mortgage Metrics Report. The report has data from eight large national banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, as well as One West Bank federal savings association, which account for about 62% of all first mortgages in the country.

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As of Sept. 30, 88% of the 32.4 million loans in the portfolios of those institutions were current and performing. Of those not current, 3% were 30-59 days delinquent, 4.9% were more than 60 days delinquent, and 4.1% were in foreclosure.

But there was some encouraging news.

The percentage of delinquent loans was down significantly from a year before. For example, the percentage of loans more than 60 days delinquent was down 13.8% from the third quarter of 2010. And newly started foreclosures also were down year over year, with an 11.8% drop.

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-- Jim Puzzanghera in Washington


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