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TransUnion says mortgage delinquencies rise for first time in two years

Efforts to control the economic damage in the wake of the foreclosure crisis have been a hot-topic for some-time now. But new evidence suggests that current homeowners are beginning to fall behind again on their mortgage payments across the country. Ohio was hit hard during the economic downturn, with increased debt, lower employment and the heavy hand of foreclosures weighing on the state's economy.

TransUnion, one of the credit reporting agencies, says in the three-month time-period between June and September of this year, an increase in late mortgage payments developed for the first time since 2009. All but 10 states and the District of Columbia saw a jump in third-quarter mortgage delinquencies.

A spokesman for the credit reporting agency could not identify any particular reason that may have caused the recent jump in late payments. He says housing prices and unemployment are often the major factors leading to delinquent mortgages. However, he notes that, "Those are both still important, but neither has noticeably deteriorated."

The overall economy appears to be a large influence. The credit reporting agency says the U.S. credit downgrade, issues in the U.S. and European economies and the stock markets may be playing a role.

Late payments can put a strain on household budgets as trying to catch up on the mortgage can be difficult. Often, Cincinnati residents who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments turn to the bankruptcy code to avoid foreclosure and potentially save their home.

Wage earners who have fallen behind on their mortgage, and who file for chapter 13 bankruptcy relief, can often make up delinquent mortgage payments during the course of the three to five year chapter 13 payment plan.

Source: AP via CBS News, "Late mortgage payments up in 3Q, 1st rise in years," Nov. 8, 2011

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