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First numbers: Mortgage delinquencies climb 16% in Hurricane Harvey-impacted areas

Heaviest impact on mortgage delinquency rates still to come

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in South Texas is still very much being felt, and as the first numbers start to roll in on its impact on mortgages in the area, the result is not looking good.

In the beginning stages of the recovery process, Black Knight Financial Services predicted the mortgage industry could see up to 300,000 new delinquencies as a result of the storm, with 160,000 borrowers becoming seriously past due.

Now the first numbers from Black Knight Financial Services are starting to roll in, and according to the report, the hurricane’s impact on mortgages will likely get worse.  

While delinquencies nationally remained relatively flat from July, the FEMA-declared disaster areas saw delinquencies jump 16%, from 5.37% before the storm, which made landfall on Aug. 25, to 6.22% by the end of August.

More than 6,700 new 30-day delinquencies can be attributed to Harvey, while an additional 1,000 borrowers who were already 30-days past due missed an additional mortgage payment in August as a result of the storm.

Before the storm hit, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they were suspending foreclosures and evictions in wake of the hurricane.

“Thankfully, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration have all announced temporary moratoria on evictions and foreclosure sales in Harvey-related disaster areas,” said Ben Graboske, Black Knight Data and Analytics executive vice president. “With these three organizations accounting for nearly 900,000 of mortgaged properties, the moratoria should help temper the negative effects.”

And even though most payments are due Aug. 1, and the storm made landfall near the end of the month, the impact on mortgage delinquencies can already be seen.

But given the timing of the hurricane and based on observations from previous hurricanes, the worst of the impact is still to come. The report stated that the heaviest impact on mortgage delinquency rates will happen in September. 

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