According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest national crime survey, more homeowners in Florida and across the country were delayed on their mortgage payments in the second quarter than in the first quarter.
In particular, loans from the Federal Housing Administration, with which low-income and first-time buyers could afford a house, recorded a record increase. Nationwide, the crime rate for such loans rose to around 15.7% – the highest percentage since the association began measuring in 1979.
In Florida, that number was even higher at 16.8%. The state saw one of the largest gains between the first and second quarters of the country, along with New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii – all states with a prevalence of tourism and hospitality professions. New Jersey had the highest Federal Housing Administration loan crime rate at just over 20%.
By comparison, the nationwide crime rate for conventional loans was 6.7%, according to the survey, which includes 39 million loans from around 100 lenders.
Crime rates include homeowners on forbearance plans who have become more available as lenders, and the federal government has expanded options to delay payments by up to a year for those who have lost income from the pandemic.
Mortgage defaults are directly linked to unemployment, and Marina Walsh, vice president of industry analysis for the Mortgage Bankers Association, noted that the job market has been improving in recent months.
However, that good news is "mitigated by numerous uncertainties, including the ambiguous status of improved unemployment benefits and other incentive measures, the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases and the cutback in reopening in certain states," she said in a statement.