Of Americans With Mortgages, 22% have Trouble Paying Them Off

Twenty-two percent of people who have mortgages are having difficulty meeting their payments, including 7% who who are having a “a great deal of difficulty,” says a Harris Poll. However, the poll indicates that somewhat fewer people are having difficulty this year than last year.

The findings show a “very modest, but, still painfully slow, recovery from the recession,” says Harris. “Many millions of people are still hurting badly even if the numbers are slightly better than they were last year. It seems that we will continue to have a huge mortgage and foreclosure crisis until the economy is much stronger or house prices recover.” Harris noted, however, that even the modest improvements found in the poll may be deceptive. For example, one reason slightly fewer people are having difficulty paying their mortgages this year is that some people who were in difficulty last year have lost their homes and no longer have mortgages.

The proportion of those having difficulty paying off their mortgages has declined from 29% last year to 22% this year, and those with mortgages that are “under water” (or mortgages on homes that are worth less than is owed) has decreased from 24% to 21% over the same period.

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Most adults (62%), regardless of whether they have a mortgage, are at least somewhat concerned that their household income will not be enough to cover all their costs and expenses this year. Among the lowest income group, with household incomes of less than $35,000, 75% are concerned and 36% are very concerned they will not be able to cover their costs.

View the poll findings.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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