Homeowners who've stopped making their mortgage payments can expect the foreclosure process to be a long, slow grind, and some new stats from LPS Applied Analytics in Jacksonville, Fla., suggest the timeline is stretching out to be even longer as the foreclosure crisis persists.
A few observations from the latest LPS data:
• Loans in the foreclosure pipeline are now delinquent more than 500 days, on average, in five states -- New York, Florida, New Jersey, Hawaii and Maine -- all of which use a judicial process. Many other states aren't far behind, and even the smallest averages are still 358 days, or just one week short of a full year.
• The average length of time that delinquent loans have been in the foreclosure process has increased in every state since January 2008. The biggest increases have occurred in Florida and New York, among the judicial process states, and Maryland, California, Virginia, Nevada, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Arizona, among the non-judicial states.
• The degree of delinquency of loans that are at least 90 days late also has continued to rise.
LPS said in a statement:
As of the end of September, 32 percent of 90-days-or-greater delinquencies could be categorized as 'extremely delinquent,' with borrowers not having made a payment for 12 months or more. The average days delinquent for loans in the 90-days-or-greater delinquency category is 316 days, and the average loan in foreclosure has not had a payment in 484 days, or roughly 16 months.
Still, it's important to remember that these figures are averages. That means some homeowners are practically rushed through the process, while others may be left in their homes for even longer periods. In some cases, a lengthy delay benefits the lender. In others, the homeowner gets the advantage.