This month, several news outlets reported on the state of America’s underwater mortgages. The situation is grim: in the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of houses that were underwater actually grew by 3.7 percent. 11.1 million Americans live in homes in which the remaining balance on their mortgages is worth more than the full value of their houses. This comes to 22.8 percent of all homes that have mortgages, and eight percent have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. The rate is the highest it’s been since 2009.
The housing bubble affected states differently, especially Nevada. People with underwater homes considering filing Las Vegas bankruptcy should know they’re not alone. Yahoo! Real Estate took the data and compiled a top 10 list of states with underwater mortgages. It isn’t surprising, but Nevada comes out on top with 60.1 percent of houses underwater and 4.5 percent with five percent equity or less. Worse, Nevada is the only state in which the total mortgage debt exceeds total property value. Homeowners lost an average of $150,000, and the median home’s value dropped 60 percent.
Although the banks and the federal government agreed to a settlement that would give principal reductions for mortgagors, this may not be enough for Nevada homeowners, 13.4 percent of whom are 90 days delinquent on their mortgages. If you’re in these circumstances, consulting with a Las Vegas bankruptcy—even if you’re eligible for a principal reduction—will help you evaluate all of your options. You might be able to save money via a short sale, refinance, mortgage modification, offering your deed in lieu of foreclosure, and filing bankruptcy. Don’t throw good money at a mortgage you’ll never pay off.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.