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Many homeowners behind on house payments because of Irma

Natural disasters are unavoidable and often leave a wake of physical destruction in their paths. However, once the news crews pack up and leave, many people forget about the financial struggles of hurricane victims in Florida. For many, these types of disasters lead to them falling behind on house payments.

Nationwide, rates of mortgage delinquency are going down as more homeowners establish a better grip on their finances. The story in Florida is different, with more residents are delinquent on their house payments than in other areas of the United States due to Hurricane Irma. A mortgage is considered delinquent once it is more than 30 days past due, meaning that a homeowner only has to miss a single payment before find oneself in a precarious situation.

In April 2018, national serious delinquency rates -- this includes mortgages that are more than 90 days overdue and homes in foreclosure -- were listed at 1.9 percent. This was down from 2 percent in April 2017. Florida is one of only two states in which serious delinquency rates are increasing, which experts blame on the lingering effects of Hurricane Irma. The CEO of CoreLogic -- a global data company -- noted that overall, delinquency rates of all levels of severity are going down except for in regions hit by serious natural disasters.

Falling behind on house payments may feel overwhelming, and many Florida homeowners worry that they will never be able to catch up. However, there are several options for those hoping to avoid foreclosure. One of the most common approaches is for homeowners to negotiate reduced or delayed payments with their lender.

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