3.27 percent of mortgages in foreclosure at end of third quarter
Foreclosures rose slightly in South Carolina in the third quarter, and more people were on track to lose their homes as they fell behind on payments, according to a report released Thursday.
More than 13 percent of mortgage holders in the state were at least 30 days behind on their payments, the report from the Mortgage Bankers Association said.
That's up more than 1 percentage point from the second quarter and nearly 4 percentage points from the same period last year.
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The national rate was more than 14 percent.
The bump in foreclosures is not surprising, since South Carolina has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the nation, said James Fleshman, president of Foundation Mortgage Corp. in Columbia.
"When you've got that kind of unemployment that's going to be par for the course," he said.
Even people who have cash reserves are falling into trouble as it becomes harder to find a new job, he said.
"We'll probably see it continue for a little while," Fleshman said.
The report showed nearly 10 percent of South Carolinians who have a residential mortgage were at least 30 days late but had not entered the foreclosure process, which usually starts once a homeowner is at least 90 days behind.
At the end of the third quarter, 3.27 percent of mortgages were in foreclosure.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's quarterly survey of 44.6 million loans is considered the most authoritative report on mortgage delinquencies. A separate report, issued monthly by foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc., is based on courthouse filings.