NEW YORK -- Delinquent mortgages at Citicorp, the nation's largest home lender, increased substantially in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, with much of the rise coming from the economically-depressed Northeast.
The rise in mortgage loan delinquencies at Citicorp is a reminder, bankers and analysts said, that defaults and losses are likely to increase for most kinds of bank loans as the economy weakens.
In the last year, while Citicorp, which operates Citibank, the nation's largest bank, and many other banking companies have been hurt by heavy losses on commercial real estate loans, mortgage loan portfolios have fared much better.
But the new Citicorp data, included in a quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, showed that problems with home mortgage loans had risen, though they remained much less frequent than those with commercial real estate loans. Citicorp is also the nation's largest bank lender for commercial real estate.
Citicorp mortgages that were 90 or more days delinquent or being foreclosed rose to 3.6 percent of the dollar amount of total mortgage loans, up from 3 percent at June 30; 2.8 percent March 30, and 2.4 percent at the end of 1989.
By contrast, nearly $2.2 billion, or 16.7 percent, of Citicorp's $13.2 billion of commercial real estate loans are delinquent, or face such serious problems that the bank expects they will become delinquent.
In addition, the company owns $1 billion of commercial real estate that it acquired from defaulted loans.
Citicorp stock declined 75 cents, to $12.75, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
"Home mortgage delinquency rates are on the rise," said Warren Lasko, executive director of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
While delinquencies declined in the first half of the year, he said the economy had become weak enough, "particularly in the Northeast," to create problems for more homeowners.