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Record number of Americans facing deep financial trouble with their mortgages

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A recent report has revealed that more homeowners across the US are facing financial hardship as their mortgages are becoming ‘seriously underwater’. This means that the amount owed on the loan is significantly higher than the value of the property. This worrying trend is a cause for concern as it could lead to increased foreclosures and financial instability for many families.





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A recent report from ATTOM revealed that roughly one in 37 homes in the United States are currently worth significantly less than the remaining mortgage balance. This category, known as “seriously underwater” mortgages, has seen a slight increase from 2.6% to 2.7% in the first quarter of the year.

While this percentage remains lower than pre-pandemic levels, when 6.6% of homes were considered seriously underwater, some states, especially in the South, have a higher share of such properties. Louisiana leads the nation with 11.3% of mortgages being seriously underwater, followed by Kentucky with a significant quarterly jump from 6.3% to 8.3%.

Negative equity occurs when homeowners overpay for a property that decreases in value, resulting in them being “underwater” on their mortgage. This has been less of a concern for long-time homeowners who have witnessed a surge in home equity, but new homeowners have not been as fortunate.

Additionally, the share of “equity-rich” homes, with loan balances below 50% of Market value, also dipped slightly in the first quarter. This drop-off could potentially signal a broader decline in home prices, impacting the Spring buying season and future Market trends.

Amidst concerns over rising interest rates, Americans are feeling the strain of housing costs, with only 21% believing it is a good time to buy a home. This sentiment is tied for the lowest level on record and indicates the pressing financial challenges faced by families related to housing affordability and inflation.

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1. What does it mean for a mortgage to be ‘seriously underwater’?
– It means that you owe more on your mortgage than your home is actually worth.

2. Why are more mortgages becoming seriously underwater across the US?
– This can happen when property values decrease or if you take out a loan with a high interest rate.

3. What are the potential consequences of having a seriously underwater mortgage?
– It can make it difficult to sell your home or refinance your loan, and you may end up owing more money than you can afford.

4. How can homeowners handle a seriously underwater mortgage?
– They can consult with a financial advisor to explore their options, such as loan modification or a short sale.

5. How can prospective homebuyers avoid getting into a seriously underwater mortgage situation?
– They can research the housing Market, get pre-approved for a loan, and make sure they can comfortably afford the payments.

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