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Home foreclosure is on the decline, but some are still struggling

Owning a home is a foundational aspect of the American dream. However, that dream might be more attainable for some people in Florida than for others. While home foreclosure rates are down overall, some homeowners are still struggling with their mortgage payments.

The rate for mortgage delinquency payments of more than 30 days is currently the lowest it has been in 10 years. According to CoreLogic, this is in part because of increasing home prices. While this might seem counterintuitive, rising home prices increase equity for homeowners. The average homeowner gained $9,700 in equity in 2018 alone.

In Dec. 2018, the national rate for delinquency was only 4.1 percent, a significant decrease from Dec. 2017's 5.3 delinquency rate. The news is also good for those dealing with serious delinquencies, which are mortgage payments that are at least 90 days past due. Serious delinquencies and foreclosures decreased in 49 out of the 50 states, demonstrating that homeowners are doing better than in years past.

Unfortunately, the news is not all good. Some metropolitan areas located in Florida are still dealing with delinquency, serious delinquency and foreclosure rates that are higher than the national average. These areas are generally still struggling to recover from the damage caused by hurricanes in 2018. As homeowners try to deal with the costs of recovering from these natural disasters, their delinquencies are more likely to move beyond 60 days past due.

Home foreclosure is not just financially devastating; it's also an extremely emotional process. When faced with foreclosure, some people might be unsure of where they will live next or if they will even have the financial ability to move. There are many options to combating foreclosure, including working directly with lenders or filing for bankruptcy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for struggling homeowners, so speaking with an experienced attorney could help those facing these issues figure out how best to move forward.

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Paul Urich
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