Florida’s weak job and distressed real estate markets continue to contribute to the high foreclosure rate. The state still leads the nation in delinquent loans. Some claim states with non-judicial foreclosures fair better in clearing the inventory. But more importantly, a collapsing real estate market and 11.9% jobless rate seem to be the major culprits. The foreclosure freeze earlier this year did not appear to have the impact feared. Read more below.
WASHINGTON – Nov. 19, 2010 – Florida still leads the nation in the percentage of homeowners who are “seriously delinquent” on their loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday.
In the state, 19.52 percent of borrowers were either 90 days past due or in foreclosure in the third quarter. Add in borrowers who are 30 and 60 days late, and nearly one in four Floridians are behind on their loans.
The good news is that Florida’s seriously delinquent rate is down from 20.13 percent in the second quarter. But no other state met Florida’s lofty level of late payers. Nevada was No. 2 at 17.83 percent, while Illinois’ 10.77 percent ranked third.
With Florida’s job market still weak and home prices way down from a few years ago, it’s no surprise that the state’s delinquency rates are so high, said Jack McCabe, a real estate analyst in Deerfield Beach.
“With 48 percent of the state’s homeowners underwater, we’re going to continue to see delinquencies go up,” McCabe said. “The truth is a lot of people have given up and have stopped paying their mortgages.”
Part of the blame lies with the way foreclosures are handled in Florida, said Michael Fratantoni, the Mortgage Bankers’ vice president of research and economics. Florida and other states where foreclosures go through the courts have foreclosure inventories that are twice as high as so-called non-judicial states, he said.
Of course, the court system is only partly to blame for Florida’s delinquency problem. The bigger culprits are a withering collapse in prices and an 11.9 percent jobless rate that’s well above the national unemployment rate of 9.6 percent.
Nationally, the delinquency rate fell, too, which the Mortgage Bankers Association attributed to modest improvements in the job market. The foreclosure freeze at some lenders hasn’t played a role in falling delinquencies.
“The foreclosure paperwork issues announced by several large servicers in late September and early October are unlikely to have had a large impact on the third-quarter numbers,” Fratantoni said.
Copyright © 2010 The Palm Beach Post, Fla., Jeff Ostrowski. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.