Mortgage delinquencies spiked in the September "first look" report from Black Knight, but that was followed by a swift reversal in October.  The company's latest report notes a sharp decline in early stage delinquencies and a downturn in serious ones as well.

Loans that were more than 30 days past due but not in foreclosure fell 8.2 percent month-over-month and were nearly 18 percent lower than in October 2017.  This translates into 165,000 fewer delinquencies than in September and an improvement of 378,000 year-over-year.  These changes leave 1.884 million loans in the national non-current bucket.  Serious delinquencies were down as well.  Within the total number of loans that are overdue just shy of a half million are 90 days delinquent but not in foreclosure, a 12-year low.  This is down by 14,000 from September and 90,000 from a year earlier.

Black Knight attributes at least some of the improved loan performance data to continued improvement among hurricane-related delinquencies associated with Harvey and Irma.  Yet to be determined are the effects of this fall's hurricanes Florence and Michael as well as from the California wildfires.

Foreclosure starts did increase, but Black Knight noted they were coming off of September's nearly 18-year low. They rose by 50,600 or 26.50 percent from September and 0.80 percent from 12 months earlier.  There are now 267000 homes in the process of foreclosure, 1,000 less than at the end of September and down 81,000 loans from the previous October.  The foreclosure inventory rate is 0.52 percent of all mortgage loans, marking declines of 0.54 percent and 24.24 percent from the two earlier periods.

Adding up the damages; early and serious delinquencies and homes in process of foreclosure, brings the total of non-current loans nationwide to 2.152 million, a decline of 165,000 from just a month earlier and nearly a half-million year-over-year.   Mississippi, Louisiana Alabama, West Virginia and Arkansas are the top five states by virtue of their non-performing loan rate, ranging from 6.05 percent in Arkansas to 10.0 percent in Mississippi.  All four states have improved their delinquency rate over the last 12 months.

Black Knight will publish a more comprehensive analysis of some of the loan performance data it gathers in the next edition of Mortgage Monitor, due out on December 10.