Nevada still has among worst mortgage delinquency rates

Nevada’s mortgage delinquency rate improved last year but remains one of the worst in the country, a new report shows.

Nevada had the second-highest delinquency rate — 10.45 percent — in the country in the three months ending Dec. 31, according to TransUnion. That’s down from 12.08 percent in the same period in 2011.

The average mortgage debt in Nevada also fell last year to $207,416 in the fourth quarter, down 5.3 percent from $219,095. That was the largest percentage drop in the country in that period.

Chicago-based TransUnion defines delinquent borrowers as being at least 60 days past due. Florida had the highest rate of such borrowers last quarter, at 12.47 percent.

California and Arizona, two other states hit hard by the housing bust, have improved more than Nevada. Their delinquency rates are now below the national average of 5.19 percent, according to TransUnion.

California’s delinquency rate was 5.03 percent last quarter, down from 7.14 percent a year earlier; Arizona’s was 5.18 percent, down from 7.5 percent.

In the Las Vegas Valley, the mortgage delinquency rate fell to 11.81 percent in the fourth quarter from 13.62 percent a year earlier.

TransUnion said in a December forecast that Nevada’s mortgage delinquency rate would dip from about 10.3 percent at year’s end to 8.4 percent at the end of 2013.

The latest report comes less than a week after TransUnion said the Las Vegas area was tied with El Paso, Texas, and Columbia, S.C., for the fourth-worst consumer credit scores in the country.

They each had a score of 650 out of a range of 501 to 990. Higher scores indicate consumers have a lower risk of defaulting on loans.