In its first look at December’s loan performance data, Black Knight notes that 2021 ended with the foreclosure inventory at an all-time low and the national delinquency rate “just a hair off the near-record low” reached just before the onset of the pandemic. That delinquency rate, the percentage of mortgages that are 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure, was 3.38 percent in December, down by nearly 6 percent from November and 44.46 percent below its level in December 2020. This equates to 1.799 million delinquent loans, a decrease of 107,000 and 1.452 million from the two earlier periods. Serious delinquencies, loans 90 or more days past due but not in foreclosure, are still elevated; 946,000 loans remain in that category including many that are still in forbearance. This is more than double the number pre-pandemic. Still, that is down by 80,000 loans in a single month and by 1.2 million since December 2020. The foreclosure inventory, loans in the process of foreclosure, declined by 4,000 over the previous month to 128,000 loans. This is a record low and is down 90 percent year-over-year. It may not stay that low for long, however. Five months after the federal foreclosure moratorium expired, foreclosure starts may be increasing . There were 4,100 starts in December, a 10.81 percent increase from the prior month, although this is more than 40 percent fewer than the previous December. Foreclosures are also ticking up. Black Knight expresses them as a percentage of the loans that are more than 90 days non-current. The 0.29 rate in December was 12.07 percent higher than the November rate and more than three times the rate a year earlier when the moratorium was in effect.