Jump in late mortgages after Harvey sparks foreclosure fears

Aerial view of a flooded residential neighborhood in Houston, Texas. (Photo: Texas Military Dept)
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FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (AP) - Five months after Hurricane Harvey damaged thousands of houses in Texas, delinquent mortgage payments have spiked as homeowners deal with mounting bills and insufficient help from insurance and the federal government.

Reports by real estate and financial firms show that about 40,000 mortgages in southeastern Texas are more than 90 days delinquent due to Harvey.

Harris County - home to Houston - accounts for 58 percent of the rise from July through December in delinquent mortgages in Texas counties declared disaster areas after Harvey.

Jacob Lerma says walking away from his damaged suburban Houston home might be his only option.

The rise in delinquent mortgages is prompting fears by nonprofit and legal aid groups about a possible wave of foreclosures in the coming months.