Amid a national economic surge that is helping to lift homeowners out of delinquency and foreclosure, Florida is at the front of the pack among those homeowners who are starting to catch up on their payments. Over the past six months, the Sunshine State saw a one-third reduction in the number of homeowners who are non-current with their mortgage payments. Only Nevada and Rhode Island performed better, both by less than a percentage point.
The economic trend bodes well, but economists are still wary about the expiration of the national foreclosure moratorium at end of last month. An estimated 1.45 million borrowers nationally remained 90 or more days past due – but not yet in foreclosure – entering August. That’s more than 1 million more than at the onset of the pandemic, according to data from Jacksonville-based Black Knight, Inc., a real estate analytics company.
A state eviction and foreclosure moratorium was allowed to expire last fall, in part because on Sept. 4, 2020, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order to halt evictions through the end of the year “to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” DeSantis allowed his executive order to expire to avoid confusion, and the CDC order was later extended for months.
But last month that CDC moratorium also expired, bringing with it a wave of uncertainty, forcing many homeowners to scramble to make payments in an effort to avoid foreclosure.
“While overall delinquency volumes continue to edge closer to pre-pandemic levels,” Black Knight noted in a press release, “the number of serious delinquencies were still significantly elevated as federal foreclosure moratoria expired at the end of July.”
Despite the raw numbers, the overall trend remains positive. The national delinquency rate dropped 5 percent in July and is now down by nearly half since May of last year to just 4.14 percent overall. Delinquencies have also improved in 12 of the last 14 months. Black Knight says the two monthly increases were “calendar-related as opposed to being indicative of worsening performance.”