The mortgage-delinquency rate may be easing across the country, but not in Massachusetts. It’s once again at a record high.

What gives? Isn’t the Massachusetts housing market supposed to be in better shape than the rest of the nation? There might be an explanation:

MBA researcher Mike Fratantoni blamed Bay State borrowers’ blues on everything from rising long-term unemployment to consumers’ heavy holiday-time heating and credit-card bills.

But he also cited state laws that give financially strapped borrowers more time to work out their money problems and avoid foreclosure.

Fratantoni said such efforts help some struggling consumers, but also keep lots of mortgages that banks would have quickly foreclosed upon listed on the books as delinquent instead.

“These policies are very effective in slowing down foreclosures, but the flip side is that loans stay in the ‘delinquent bucket’ for longer and longer,” he said.

The key words are “slowing down foreclosures.” It appears we’re only temporarily damming them up with the new law, potentially creating the conditions for a flash flood if the dam doesn’t hold.

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