Foreclosures rise, but fewer Washington homeowners are behind on mortgages

Nearly 95,700 homeowners in Washington were past due on their home loans or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2013, down 13 percent from a year ago,according to a mortgage industry survey.

The number of delinquent loans equates to 8.4 percent of all mortgage loans in the state, down from 9.4 percent a year earlier, according to the survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. (There were 1.14 million total home loans as of March 31, 2013, about 25,000 fewer than reflected in the 2012 survey).

The delinquency rate, which includes past-due loans but does not count homes in foreclosure, was also down for the quarter, to 5.5 percent from 7.2 percent the previous year.

Meanwhile, homes in foreclosure rose, to 2.9 percent from 2.2 percent a year ago.

At the end of the first quarter, Washington ranked 36th among U.S. states and the District of Columbia in delinquencies and 22nd in newly filed foreclosures, according to the survey.

Greg Lamm covers banking & finance and law for the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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