Florida still struggles to catch up with the rest of the country as it climbs out from under one of the country’s worst recessions. Even though there is still a struggle in Florida, more people are finding they are able to avoid home foreclosure compared to those who were struggling a few years ago. One encouraging sign for the Florida home market is the slight downward trend of “underwater” mortgage homes.
A home is considered underwater if the current value is less than what the homeowner still owes on the mortgage. If someone is struggling to make payments on a home that is underwater, they can’t sell the home to escape the burden because they would essentially owe more than they could sell it for. As home values increase again in Florida, fewer people will have to face this depressing prospect.
At the end of the last fiscal quarter of 2013, just under 25 percent of homes in Palm Beach Couinty were underwater. That was a reduction from over 37 percent a year before. While analysts see the underwater mortgage problem as being a concern for the next five years, they also expect the percentage of underwater mortgages to steadily decline.
The struggles that homeowners face are still a serious concern. For those who are still reeling from the recession and find they either have an underwater mortgage or they are headed toward home foreclosure, there are options. There is help in the form of loan modifications and bankruptcy relief that may help Florida homeowners avoid home foreclosure or get the fresh financial start they need.
Source: Sun Sentinel, Housing market: Underwater mortgages fall, Paul Owers, Feb. 28, 2014