The latest data from property analytics provider CoreLogic released on Tuesday shows that while mortgage delinquency rates are much higher than they were at the same time last year, they also saw a small drop between November and December.

Across the United States, 5.8 percent of mortgages were in some state of delinquency in December — a drop from 5.9 percent the month prior, but a 2.1 percent increase year over year.


The high rate comes at a time when the coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc on the economy and created a situation in which millions of homeowners working in hard-hit industries like travel or dining are struggling to make their monthly payments.

While diverse anti-foreclosure and government forbearance programs have largely prevented a major foreclosure crisis, missed payments still stack up and create what is for many a financial black hole in which larger and larger sums are going to be due at some unspecified date.

The biggest jump occurred amid the serious delinquencies (payments late by more than 90 days). Nearly 4 percent of mortgaged homes were in this bracket, compared to only 1.2 percent last year. Early-stage delinquencies and foreclosures were both down slightly compared to last year’s numbers.

The numbers seen in 2020 are the result of a number of factors — while record-low rates have pushed many into wanting to secure a home, high home values, low inventory and the pandemic have hampered others’ ability to pay for it.

“The ongoing forbearance provisions and economic aid implemented at the start of the pandemic has proved helpful for families faced with financial insecurity,” Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said in a prepared statement.


Despite fluctuations in individual cities, every state in the country saw its overall delinquencies rise in December. Hawaii and Nevada saw those numbers rise the most, at 4.1 percentage points each.

The economy in Odessa, Texas, is highly dependent on the oil industry currently at a standstill and saw the highest delinquency rates across any American city at 9.8 percentage points. Lake Charles, Louisiana; Midland, Texas; and Kahului, Hawaii, followed close behind at a 7.6, 7.5 and 6.8 percentage point rise, respectively.

“Places with large job losses during the last year also experienced big jumps in mortgage delinquencies,” Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a prepared statement. “By state, Hawaii and Nevada had the largest 12-month spike in delinquency rates, both up 4.1 percentage points. They also had large increases in unemployment rates, up 6.6 percentage points in Hawaii and 5.5 percentage points in Nevada compared with 3.1 percentage points for the U.S.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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