Loan defaults on rise

TEXT OF STORY

BRIAN WATT: We got another set of figures yesterday on mortgage delinquencies in the U.S.. They showed the number of new foreclosures inching upwards. Rachel Dornhelm reports.


RACHEL DORNHELM: More than 182,000 homes entered foreclosure in the second quarter of this year. That's 17,000 more than the same time a year ago.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Mike Fratantoni says there are several factors at work. One is climbing interest rates. Another is the aging loan portfolio.

MIKE FRATANTONI: We had a big re-fi period back in 2003, and those loans are reaching their peak delinquency years.

That peak is 3 to 5 years after a loan is issued. Fratantoni also tagged high energy prices as a culprit.

On the other hand he said the low unemployment rate has helped keep delinquency rates in check.

Fratantoni says one group that actually saw its foreclosure rate drop last quarter is homeowners in Louisiana and Mississippi.

I'm Rachel Dornhelm for Marketplace.

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