Puerto Rico Is Heading For A Foreclosure Epidemic

The mortgage segment is dead … except in Puerto Rico.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, leaving devastation in its wake, the island’s housing market was already in the depths of a foreclosure implosion. Now the situation is about to get worse, according to an article in the New York Times. The report, which was published on Monday, said that about one-third of the Puerto Rico’s 425,000 homeowners were behind on their mortgage payments to banks and Wall Street firms that previously bought up distressed mortgages. Tens of thousands have not made payments for months, and about 90,000 borrowers became delinquent as a consequence of Hurricane Maria, the Times report said, quoting Black Knight Inc., a data firm formerly known as Black Knight Financial Services. According to the report, Puerto Rico’s 35 percent foreclosure and delinquency rate is more than double the 14.4 percent national rate during the depths of the housing crisis in the U.S. After the hurricane in September, residents won a reprieve when the federal government imposed a temporary moratorium on foreclosures, which stops banks and investors that bought mortgages at cut-rate prices from evicting delinquent borrowers or starting new foreclosures.

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