Louisiana ranked seventh in a report on fourth-quarter mortgage delinquencies, a sign that the national recession is starting to creep into the state. According to the figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association, 10.13% of all mortgages in Louisiana were past due during the final three months of 2008. That’s ahead of the national average of 8.63% and behind only Mississippi (13.11%), Nevada (11.12%), Michigan (11.08%), Florida (11.09%), Georgia (10.73%) and Indiana (10.59%). Jay Brinkmann, MBA chief economist, noted that some of the states that saw the biggest fourth-quarter increase in late mortgage payments were areas that had been largely unaffected by the declining housing market, such as Louisiana and Texas. That’s a sign the recession is spreading, he says.
In Louisiana, as nationwide, subprime loans—or those given to borrowers considered to be the riskiest—were the most behind in their payments at 30.9%. Just over 6% of homeowners with prime loans—those going to the most credit-worthy customers by mortgage industry standards—were at least 30 days behind during the fourth quarter, almost unchanged from the third quarter.