Home > 2014 > Mortgages

The States Where Homeowners Are Still Struggling

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 0 Comments

The realms of home loans and home ownership have undergone many challenges during the past several years. The foreclosure crisis wiped out hundreds of thousands of homeowners, credit dried up and many who remained in possession of their homes faced plummeting property values, sometimes struggling to keep up with mortgage payments along the way.

Even as interest rates dropped and the market heated up, there have been fewer mortgages opened in some parts of the country, and millions of consumers are still struggling to afford the monthly payments on their homes. At the same time, those same people have contended with stagnating wages, rising student loan debt and paying down credit card debt accrued during the recession, not to mention the sense of extreme caution some people adopted after the crisis.

That leaves us with a slowly growing economy and a mortgage market that’s inching forward. We looked at second-quarter mortgage data from this year, using the Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports and analyzing it with Experian’s IntelliView tool, to see which states are struggling most with mortgage recovery. The rankings weigh these factors: the number of mortgages originated per capita, outstanding mortgages per capita and percent of borrowers more than 60 days past due on their home loans. The first two data points were adjusted based on 2013 Census Bureau population estimates, each factor was given equal weight in determining rank and the data is the most recent available. Individual ranks were added together to determine overall rankings.

Here are 10 states where homeowners are still struggling.

10. Pennsylvania

New mortgages per capita, Q2 2014: 0.00439 (17th lowest)
Outstanding mortgages per capita, Q2 2014: 0.1505 (12th lowest)
Percentage of mortgages 60+ days past due, Q2014: 3.28% (13th highest)

Most of the states on this list scored very poorly in at least one category, but Pennsylvania is in the top 10 because of its failure to excel in any measure: It has the 12th-lowest mortgage origination rate per capita, 13th highest delinquency rate and 17th lowest number of existing mortgages, when adjusted for population. It’s not that bad — it’s not in the bottom 10 in any individual category — but it’s the 10th worst overall.

9. North Carolina

New mortgages per capita: 0.00352  (5th)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1558 (16th)
Delinquency rate: 3.13% (15th)

North Carolina slumps when it comes to new mortgages: Its 34,710 home loans originated in the second quarter put it at the fifth lowest spot in that category, bringing it down to ninth overall.

8. Georgia

New mortgages per capita: 0.00347 (4th)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1614 (21st)
Delinquency rate: 3.37% (11th)

Like North Carolina, Georgia’s problems stem from mortgage origination. There’s not a ton of activity in the state, given its population. It had the fourth fewest new loans per capita (only 34,632).

7. New Jersey

New mortgages per capita: 0.00361 (7th)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1626 (25th)
Delinquency rate: 4.46% (2nd)

New Jersey residents have struggled to pay the mortgages they have. With 4.46% of mortgages more than 60 days past due, it has the second-worst delinquency rate in the country. Its mortgage originations were also pretty low in the second quarter (the 7th lowest).

6. South Carolina

New mortgages per capita: 0.00398 (12th)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1560 (17th)
Delinquency rate: 3.9% (4th)

Homeownership isn’t exactly booming in South Carolina, but the real issue is in repaying the debt: 3.9% of South Carolina’s mortgages are 60 days past due.

5. Alabama

New mortgages per capita: 0.00327 (3rd)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1399 (8th)
Delinquency rate: 2.89% (19th)

Of all the states on this list, Alabama has the lowest delinquency rate. Unfortunately, few people in the state took out home loans in the second quarter, which reflects poorly on the market.

4. Louisiana

New mortgages per capita: 0.00375 (8th)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1292 (4th)
Delinquency rate: 3.29% (12th)

Louisiana has the fourth lowest ownership rate in the country, and mortgage origination wasn’t so hot in the second quarter, either.

3. Florida

New mortgages per capita: 0.00356 (6th)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1557 (15th)
Delinquency rate: 5.21% (1st)

Florida is a regular headliner in mortgage news, and it’s usually not a positive thing. The state was hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis, and loan repayment remains a struggle. Florida had the highest share of delinquent accounts in the second quarter: 5.2%.

2. New York

New mortgages per capita: 0.00305 (2nd)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1239 (2nd)
Delinquency rate: 3.75% (7th)

New York ranks in the bottom ten in all three categories: the second fewest outstanding mortgages, second fewest new mortgages and seventh highest delinquency rate.

1. Mississippi

New mortgages per capita: 0.00231 (1st)
Outstanding mortgages per capita: 0.1079 (1st)
Delinquency rate: 3.84% (5th)

There are few redeeming things to be said about a state that ranks number one on this list. Homeownership rates are in the toilet in Mississippi (the lowest), and the state had the fewest new mortgages opened in the second quarter (based on population). But look on the bright side: Its 3.84% delinquency rate isn’t nearly as bad as Florida’s.

Homeowners who are having trouble making their mortgage payments may want to look into other options for refinancing or modifying their home loans, if possible. Late payments and foreclosure can have a big negative impact on your credit scores in addition to your finances, so it’s best to seek help or alternatives sooner rather than later. If you’ve had difficulty with your mortgage and are hoping to rebuild your credit, the best place to start is by looking at your credit reports and credit scores and creating a plan from there.

You can pull your credit reports for free once a year from the major credit reporting agencies through AnnualCreditReport.com. And Credit.com gives you two of your credit scores for free, updated monthly, along with an overview of your credit profile to show you what areas need improvement, along with a personalized plan to help you build credit.

More on Mortgages and Homebuying:

Image: Julesinski

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team