The number of homeowners behind on their mortgages rose during the second quarter of 2011, according to a report released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Thursday.
Early-stage delinquencies, which count mortgages that are between 30 and 59 days delinquent, increased 0.4 percent in the second quarter, the report said.
The rise in early delinquencies is the product of seasonal effects, sluggish economic growth, and rising unemployment. Separate data released on Thursday revealed that gross domestic product in the second quarter grew an anemic 1.3 percent, and the unemployment rate remains at 9.1 percent.
More serious delinquencies--mortgages that are 60 or more days delinquent--and delinquent mortgages to bankrupt borrowers also increased slightly in the second quarter after falling for the previous five quarters.
Even though the number of completed foreclosures dropped more than 30 percent from last year, it is expected to edge up as a large number of foreclosures work through the process and foreclosure alternatives exhausted, the report noted.
New mortgage modifications also declined 18.1 percent overall, although the number under the government's Home Affordable Modification Program grew.
Another government mortgage program, the Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program, sunsets on Friday. The program was set up under last year's Dodd-Frank financial-reform law to grant unemployed or underemployed people zero-interest loans to pay their mortgage debts, but it got off the ground too late and had too many restrictions to have much of an effect.