By: Esther Cho
The total number of outstanding mortgages in the nation fell below the 5 million mark for the first time since 2008, according to data from Lender Processing Services (LPS), Inc.
In March, non-current loans totaled 4,997,000, down from 5,104,000 in February.
The figure for non-current loans includes 3,308,000 million properties past due 30 days or more but not in foreclosure, as well as 1,689,000 properties sitting in foreclosure inventory. Furthermore, the number of loans in foreclosure inventory sank to its lowest level since April 2009.
LPS also reported the delinquency rate dropped to 6.59 percent as of the end of March. The rate is 3.13 percent below February and is down by 3.03 percent from March 2012.
At the same time, the foreclosure inventory rate stood at 3.37 percent, down slightly by 0.41 percent from February and down 19.61 percent from a year ago.
Florida led as the state with the highest percentage of non-current loans, while New Jersey came in second. The three remaining states rounding out the top five were Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey. The states with the lowest number of past due loans were Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
Statistics from LPS are derived from its loan-level database that represents about 70 percent of the overall market.