Delinquency rates on mortgages in Napa and Sonoma counties soared in the fourth quarter of last year, a shift a delinquency-data firm attributed to the October wildfires that burned thousands of homes.
“Two- and three-month delinquency rates have spiked in these two counties, more than doubling between October and December,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in the Tuesday announcement.
The spike occurred in mortgages 30–60 days behind in payments and those 60–90 days in arrears, according to the company, which tracks loans that could be headed toward foreclosure.
This comes even as the two big federal guarantors of mortgages and several lenders on local properties have said they were working with borrowers on burned properties.
Napa County had several hundred homes damaged or destroyed, while Sonoma County had several thousand. Napa’s percentage of mortgage-holders behind in payments by more than 30 days was 3.0 percent at year-end, compared with 2.2 percent in the same month a year earlier. The rate for those mortgages identified by the firm as being seriously delinquent (90-plus days past due) was 0.8 percent in December versus 0.7 percent in the same month in 2016.
For Sonoma County, the 30-plus-day delinquency proportion was 3.0 percent, up from 1.9 percent in December 2016. Serious delinquencies were unchanged, at 0.7 percent. The foreclosure rate dropped from 0.2 percent to 0.1 percent.
Examining both fire ravaged counties together, the rate of delinquencies 60–119 days behind rose from 0.52 percent in October to 1.17 percent in December. Those 30 days behind amounted to 1.4 percent in October, 1.7 percent in November and 1.3 percent in December, the firm reported.
For all California, the 30-plus-day delinquency rate declined marginally from 3.1 percent in December 2016 to 3.0 percent in December 2017. Serious delinquencies also dipped, from 1.1 percent in December 2016 to 0.9 percent a year later. Foreclosure rates in the same period were basically unchanged.
Of key metropolitan areas studied by CoreLogic, the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area’s 30- to 60-day rate at 1.8 percent in December was the lowest, with 11.6 percent in metro Miami and 9.8 percent in the Houston area, reflecting that were hit by hurricanes and flooding, according to CoreLogic.
For the entire country, the rates of delinquencies was basically flat, and the foreclosure rate actually declined by 0.2 percent.
In October, government-regulated mortgage holders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said borrowers in the burn areas are eligible for certain relief, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
Also at that time, lenders such as Redwood Credit Union, Bank of America and Wells Fargo told the Press Democrat they would help borrowers who lost properties, including deferral of some payments.
Read more about the recovery from the North Bay wildfires: nbbj.news/recovery