Foreclosure Rates Slowly Decreasing Until Harvey Roared

The Summer that Foreclosures and Delinquencies Stabilized

Foreclosure Rates Slowly Decreasing Until Harvey Roared

Nearly 10 years after the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) was established, Foreclosure rates remain stagnant, when comparing month to month, but is actually down year over year by over 27 percent. When congress authorized TARP through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, they were attempting to stabilize the US finances and avoid another great depression. Today, foreclosure rates for the country are much improved over a the double digits we reached a decade ago, but at 3.93 percent, the national foreclosure rate is still over the traditional tolerance of 2 percent.

Mother nature may spike that number higher. A recent Black Knight Financial Services report showed an increase in foreclosures following Harvey. It seems safe to assume there will also be an increase in Hurricanes Irma and Maria related regional foreclosures. Millions of Americans have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and their struggles continue, while whole new victims try to deal with the aftermath of Irma and Maria as well.

There is good news from the mortgage sector. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration have all announced temporary moratoria (ban) on evictions and foreclosure sales for nearly 900,000 mortgaged properties in Harvey-related disaster areas. The Federal Housing Administration (HUD) announced a further 90 day foreclosure moratorium in Florida, affecting approximately 280,000 FHA insured homeowners, and in Puerto Rico, affecting 117,254 FHA-insured homeowners and in the US Virgin Islands, affecting .

Freddie Mac made an announcement that in major disaster areas like Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, mortgage companies have been authorized to “suspend mortgage payments up to 12 months”, waive penalties or late fees and suspend reporting mortgage delinquencies to the credit bureaus during that period to allow recovery from the disaster related hardships. That help is offered to specific victims. If you are a victim of one of the 2017 hurricanes, talk to your mortgage servicer right away to see if help is available to you.

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