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Delinquencies rise as Freddie Mac mortgage portfolio declines

Delinquencies rose as Freddie Mac's mortgage portfolio saw declines

An increasing number of homeowners fell into delinquency on their mortgage payments in January, potentially harming their credit score in the process, according to the latest monthly volume summary of Freddie Mac's mortgage portfolio released on Friday.

According to Freddie Mac, the company's total mortgage portfolio declined at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in January compared to the previous month's figures.

A significant part of that decline may have been attributable to a decline in refinance-loan guarantees and purchases, which saw their volume fall from $27.3 billion in December to $22.6 billion in January.

The survey also found that single-family portfolio delinquencies rose throughout the month, increasing 0.16 percentage points from December's figures to hit 4.03 percent. Multifamily delinquency rate for the month also came in at 0.15 percent for the month.

Those who fell behind on their mortgage payments in January may be putting themselves at risk of doing more than simply hurting their credit score.

Earlier this month, Freddie Mac announced that it would purchase "substantially all" single-family mortgage loans that fall 120 days or more into delinquency from their participation certificates.