The nation's mortgage delinquency rate is inching closer to its pre-pandemic level as early stage delinquencies improve.  CoreLogic says that in March of this year 4.9 percent of all mortgages were 30 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure. This is the lowest rate since March 2021, the month the pandemic hit, and the rate was 3.6 percent.  

The company notes that "March 2021 marked a critical juncture in the U.S. - the one-year anniversary of the onset of the pandemic, the third round and disbursement of government stimulus checks and the extension of forbearance programs. Taken together, some of these factors helped mortgage holders stay current on their loans and led to the lowest national delinquency rate in a year.

"Additionally, the convergence of these financial paddings allowed many homeowners to chip away at other debt. A recent CoreLogic survey of current mortgage holders shows that in addition to 89 percent of respondents saying they are current on their mortgage payments, nearly 70% said they also have credit card debt - of which, only 15 percent reported falling behind on payments in the past year."

Early-Stage Delinquencies, loans 30 to 59 days past due, were at a 1.0 percent rate in March, down from 1.9% in March 2020. For the next stage, loans 60 to 89 days past due, the rate was 0.4 percent, compared to 0.6 percent the prior March.

The serious delinquency rate, loans that are 90 or more days in arrears including those in foreclosure, is the bucket that still reflects the financial distress of the past year. That rate is now 3.5 percent compared to 1.2 percent in March 2020. The foreclosure inventory rate, loans in the process of foreclosure remains low due to the ongoing foreclosure moratoria. That rate was 0.3 percent, down by 0.1 point on an annual basis.

The transition rate, the share of mortgages that moved from current to 30 days past due during the month, was 0.4 percent in March. It was 1 percent in March 2020.

Delinquency rates moved higher in every state and in most metro areas. The most severely affected states were Hawaii and Nevada with annual increases of more than 3 points and Odessa and Midland, Texas, up 7.9 and 6.1 points, respectively.