Prime Mortgage Delinquencies Surge

Federal regulators have released a report showing a big jump in bad loans.

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A report released Friday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision showed that even the most credit worthy borrowers are falling behind on their mortgage payments--and in increasing numbers:

At the end of the year, just under 90 percent of mortgages were performing, compared with 93 percent at the end of September 2008. This decline in credit quality was evident in all loan risk categories, with subprime mortgages showing the highest level of serious delinquencies. However, the biggest percentage jump was in prime mortgages, the lowest loan risk category and one that accounts for nearly two-thirds of all mortgages serviced by the reporting institutions. At the end of the fourth quarter, 2.4 percent of prime mortgages were seriously delinquent, more than double the 1.1 percent recorded at the end of March 2008.