Foreclosure rates are low, but you could still be struggling

For Connecticut homeowners, there may be few things more terrifying than the prospect of losing their home. However, recent data indicates that homeowners across the nation may be better equipped to handle their current mortgages and are overall less likely to end up in foreclosure . Delinquency rates — which include foreclosure — recently hit their lowest point since 2001.

Falling behind on mortgage payments is usually one of the first steps toward foreclosure, but current delinquency rates are hovering around 4.1 percent. This is a significant reduction in delinquency rates not just from the housing crisis during the early 2000s, but even from in recent years. In Oct. 2017 delinquency rates were as high as 5.1 percent.

In general, most lenders now exercise much stricter underwriting practices, approving only those who they believe are well equipped to handle the long-term commitment of a mortgage. Improvements are not only on the lender’s side though. Lower unemployment rates, slightly higher wages and better home prices are all factors helping people stay in their homes.

Unfortunately, good news for some does not translate to good news for all. For some homeowners in Connecticut, all it takes is a single financial disaster like an unexpected medical bill or being suddenly laid off to fall behind on mortgage payments. Even though this is an overwhelming situation, most people have options. Some choose to work directly with their lenders to negotiate for lower or delayed payments, while others find better results from filing for bankruptcy, which can temporarily halt the foreclosure process.