Delayed fallout possible in Central Washington from nationwide mortgage crisis - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Delayed fallout possible in Central Washington from nationwide mortgage crisis

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Yakima, WA -  A local consumer credit counseling service says despite recent real estate trends in Washington State, markets like Yakima and the Tri-Cities may not be immune to the fallout from the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Consumer credit counselors in both areas say to expect a delayed effect, perhaps six to 12-months behind the mortgage crisis that many other states are currently dealing with.

There is no way to tell how big the impact will be because mortgages have not reset for this year.

A strong economy and low unemployment are a couple explanations for the delay.

But there are some warnings signs; four percent of homeowners in Yakima County are delinquent on mortgage payements (that amounts to 12,000 people) and 211 says that between December of '06 and December of last year, they have seen a 270% increase in the number of calls from people concerned about their mortgage payments.

A local consumer credit counselor says they are also starting to see more of the types of debt that typically precede a foreclosure now.

"Families are struggling with house payments and many people will wait on a credit card bill rather than miss out on a mortgage payments," says Dave Gilbreath of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Yakima Valley.

Gilbreath says the million and a half dollars that Governor Gregoire recently allocated to help offset the subprime mortgage crisis in Washington State will likely stay on the westside for the most part.

But he's hopeful that organizations like theirs could receive several hundred thousand dollars to deal with the problem in Central Washington.

That money would be used to fund homebuyers seminars and helping people who are behind on house payments.