Mortgage

Late mortgage funds rise in DFW with pandemic and job losses

The share of North Texas homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments is spiking with the pandemic.

In April, 6.6% of Dallas-Fort Worth area residents with home loans had missed at least one mortgage payment. That’s almost twice the local home loan delinquency rate a year ago and is even higher than the nationwide rate, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

Across the country overall home loan delinquencies and foreclosures jumped to 6.1% in April, ending more than two years of steady declines.

Nationwide late loan payment rates are now at the highest level since early 2016.

The surge in mortgages to past due in April was the largest in more than 20 years.

“The resurgence of COVID-19 infections across the country has created economic uncertainty and leaves those who are unemployed concerned with their ability to make monthly mortgage payments,” Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in the new report. “The latest forecast from the CoreLogic Home Price Index he predicts prices declining in all states through May 2021, erasing some home equity and increasing foreclosure risk.”

CoreLogic is forecasting that home prices across the country will fall by 6.6% during the next year.

So far home foreclosure rates remain low. In April only 0.3% of nationwide mortgages were in some stage of foreclosure.

And in the DFW area, only 0.2% of home loans were in foreclosure, according to CoreLogic.

Looking around the country, some of the biggest increases in late home loan payments have been in states hard hit by the pandemic and those that have suffered big economic downturns from declines in tourism, including New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Florida and Hawaii.

In Texas’ major metro areas, the Houston area had the highest late loan rate in April at 8.2%. San Antonio was second with 7.5% of mortgages at least one payment behind.

Austin had the lowest delinquency level at 4.9%.

The rising in late loan payments around the country has been fueled in part by the millions of home loans in forbearance, which is still counted as delinquent by lenders but not in immediate threat of foreclosure.

“Despite the scale and suddenness of the pandemic, mortgage delinquency has yet to emerge as a major issue, thanks to government COVID-19 relief programs and other housing finance industry efforts,” Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said. “As the true impact of the economic shutdown during the second quarter of 2020 becomes clearer, we can expect to see a rise delinquencies in the next 12-18 months — especially as forbearance periods under the CARES Act come to a close.”

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