The national mortgage delinquency rate will remain well above normal levels in 2013, mainly because of mortgages that have been past due for more than a year, according to a forecast by credit rating agency TransUnion.
The rate -- which includes all loans that are more than 60 days late -- is expected to drop slightly by the end of next year but will stay above 5 percent.
The "normal" delinquency rate (an average from 1999 to mid-2007) is about 1.6 percent, says Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit.
"If we continue at this pace, you are talking about another 10 years before we get back to normal" he says.
On the bright side, he says the high rate is mostly driven by loans that have been delinquent for more than a year, rather than borrowers who recently fell behind on their payments. When the loans that have been past due for more than a year are removed from the calculation, the delinquency rate falls to about 2.5 percent, he says.
Another sign that this is an old problem? More than 80 percent of the loans that are delinquent were taken out prior to 2008, he says.
"The new (loan) originations are performing very well," Martin says.
According to TransUnion's projections, by the end of 2013, the states with the highest mortgage delinquencies will be:
Florida: 11.68 percent
Nevada: 8.35 percent
New Jersey: 7.68 percent
Have a question about these bad loans? I'm @PolyanaD on Twitter.