Special Report

States Where People Can't Pay Mortages

Paying a mortgage can be difficult during the best of times. Unexpected expenses and loss of employment can be two major factors that lead to missed mortgage payments and eventually foreclosure. The COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated several of the hurdles people face on the road to homeownership. Many have lost their sources of income and were unable to easily find new ones. And for those scrambling to make a monthly mortgage payment even a few months out of work can be a disaster.

Homeownership has proven to be one of the most important avenues for accumulating generational wealth in the United States and is considered a major part of the American Dream. Plus, paying a mortgage and moving toward homeownership is a lot better than endlessly paying rent. The downside is defaulting on a mortgage and having a property foreclosed, which can be devastating financially and mentally.

To identify the 20 states where people can’t pay their mortgage, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed state level delinquency and foreclosure rates from CoreLogic, an online housing data solutions company. States were ranked by the percentage of mortgages in serious delinquency. Serious delinquency is defined as mortgage payments 90 days past due. Foreclosure is defined as property officially seized by the creditor due to inability to make payments. Median home value figures are one-year estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

Though the states on this span the country, relatively few are in the West. Serious delinquency rates range from 3.2% to 5.3% in the states on the list. Nationwide, the serious delinquency rate is 3.2%, according to CoreLogic, the report adds, “While still high, this is the lowest serious delinquency rate since an initial jump during the pandemic in June 2020.”

Housing prices have exploded during the pandemic. Many people realized they might as well buy a home if they can. The expanded work-from-home has allowed many to look farther away from expensive urban centers. However, this increase in demand has priced many people out of homeownership and made homes difficult to find in some areas. Check out the most expensive metros to buy a home in the nation.

The pandemic has certainly reshaped the housing market, but in the coming years the effects of climate change could cause drastic shifts on a much greater level. Flooding, hurricanes, droughts, and rising sea levels can all contribute to the destruction of homes and environments, causing mass movement of people to already crowded areas. This is sure to drive up demand and prices in some places as well as strain cities and infrastructure in countless other ways. Take a look at 25 cities where rising seas could leave millions homeless.

Click here to see the states where people can’t pay mortgages.