The percentage of homeowners late on their mortgage — or in foreclosure — soared to a new high in the third quarter: 10.27%, according to new figures released today.

A quarterly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) found that 7.29% of mortgagors are 30 or more days delinquent with another 2.97% in foreclosure. According to new figures released by ASR sister publication National Mortgage News, Americans owe roughly $9.54 trillion on their residences, which means almost $1 trillion in home mortgages are late. MBA said that 6.99% of all home loans outstanding were at least 30 days past due in the third quarter, up 58 basis points from the second quarter and 140 basis points from one year earlier.

The foreclosure rate of 2.97% rose by 22 basis points from the second quarter and 128 basis points from 3Q07. In one possible bright spot for the industry, the ratio of new loans entering foreclosure stood at 0.29%, flat from the second quarter and only 29 basis points higher than one year earlier.

However, MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkman said the foreclosure start data is being affected by moratoria on foreclosures by companies that are holding loans in the 90-day-plus delinquency category during the modification and workout process. The survey found a 45% increase in 90-day-plus delinquencies, the biggest jump ever seen in the survey's history.

He said that prime and subprime ARM loans in California and Florida continue to drive the sharp increases in foreclosures.

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