The ‘Underwater Mortgage Capital of America’
The Wall Street Journal published a perceptive piece on the housing market in Rockford, Illinois – a town 90 miles outside of Chicago – regretfully dubbed the “Underwater Mortgage Capital of America.”
Despite the national rise in home prices, this town continues to cope with a depressed real estate market, largely attributed to low home prices, a foreclosure back log, and the highest percentage of underwater homeowners in the nation; 32 percent of the metro area’s mortgages are underwater, including the property of the Mayor of Rockford himself.
At a time when headlines are boasting of a housing rebound, local communities such as the one in Rockford serve as a stark reminder of the market’s uneven recovery, and the need to consider all pieces of the puzzle before declaring the crisis over. For many, the severity and longevity of the housing crisis remain a considerable cause for concern, so kudos to the Wall Street Journal’s Conor Dougherty for bringing this issue to light.
Note: underwater homeowners may be eligible for a refinancing via the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). To learn more, call 888-995-HOPE (4673) today – the call is free, and a HUD-certified professional counselor is available 24 hours a day.