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Underwater mortgage levels falling in Miami-Dade, though still high

Miami-Dade County is experiencing a drop in underwater mortgages, according to a recent report on underwater mortgage levels in 2014’s final quarter.

According to the report, there were over 30,000 fewer homes in the county where the property’s value was less than the mortgage balance for the property in last year’s fourth quarter than there were in 2013’s fourth quarter.

In 2013’s fourth quarter, homes with an underwater mortgage made up 33.6 percent of the county’s homes. In 2014’s fourth quarter, the percentage was down to around 27 percent.

Despite the drop though, Miami-Dade County’s underwater mortgage levels are still quite high. The county’s underwater rate for homes in 2014’s fourth quarter exceeded the state’s rate for the quarter, which was 23.2 percent. Florida’s rate, in turn, was higher than a vast majority of the rest of the nation, as only one state had a rate exceeding Florida’s in 2014’s fourth quarter. 

Thus, there are still quite a few homeowners in Miami-Dade County who are having to deal with the situation of being underwater on their home. Overall, there were around 122,950 homes with underwater mortgages in the county in last year’s fourth quarter.

There are many difficulties having an underwater mortgage on a home can pose for a homeowner, including:

  • Problems with refinancing the home.
  • Problems with selling the home.
  • Having the continual financial drain of high mortgage payments.
  • Higher foreclosure risks.

Thus, individuals here in Miami-Dade County who have an underwater mortgage may be experiencing quite a bit of stress in relation to their situation and be quite concerned about their financial future. 

Attorneys can provide guidance to those who are dealing with an underwater mortgage. There are many potential options for addressing an underwater mortgage. In some situations, bankruptcy can be advantageous for those facing financial struggles rooted in having an underwater mortgage. Consulting with a lawyer can help an underwater homeowner get an idea of what the different available options are and what options might be most appropriate for their specific situation.

Source: Miami Herald, “Nearly 30 percent of Miami-Dade homeowners owe more than their property is worth,” Nicholas Nehamas, March 18, 2015

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