15 States With the Most People Behind on Their Mortgages

Upset older woman in pain
insta_photos / Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Stessa.

The U.S. economy has had an uneven recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. By some metrics, the economy has bounced back and is growing rapidly: Gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter of 2021 grew by 7%, the unemployment rate dropped to around 4%, and wages are increasing sharply.

But the economy is continuing to struggle in other ways: Inflation is at historic highs, supply-chain challenges persist, and labor-force participation remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Homeownership is another example of the pandemic economy’s mixed effects. The value of homes has never been higher, with buyers in markets nationwide competing fiercely for real estate and driving prices up. But many current homeowners who aren’t looking to sell are struggling, as economic hardships during the pandemic have made it difficult to keep up with mortgage payments.

And with the surge of the omicron variant this past winter bringing even more disruption to jobs and businesses, the months ahead could continue to be challenging for many homeowners. The share of U.S. mortgage holders who reported being behind on mortgage payments during the pandemic reached a peak of nearly 12% in December 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

To determine the states with the highest percentage of mortgage holders behind on their payments, our researchers calculated the number of mortgaged households that reported not being current on their mortgage payments compared with the population. In the event of a tie, the state with the higher percentage of mortgaged households lacking confidence in their ability to pay was ranked higher. The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here are the states with the highest percentage of people behind on their mortgages.

15. Nevada

Virginia City, Nevada
M. Vinuesa / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 7.3%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 30.6%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 62,109
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 261,438
  • Median household income: $64,574
  • Poverty rate: 12.3%

14. Oklahoma

Oklahoma
4kclips / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 7.3%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 34.5%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 70,512
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 332,928
  • Median household income: $54,536
  • Poverty rate: 14.4%

13. Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Stephanie Kenner / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 7.7%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 26.2%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 242,211
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 821,894
  • Median household income: $61,497
  • Poverty rate: 12.7%

12. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 8.4%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 33.5%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 18,917
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 75,848
  • Median household income: $75,682
  • Poverty rate: 9.7%

11. Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky homes
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 8.7%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 25.2%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 111,063
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 321,608
  • Median household income: $54,191
  • Poverty rate: 14.8%

10. Connecticut

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 8.7%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 29.0%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 98,120
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 326,443
  • Median household income: $79,719
  • Poverty rate: 9.8%

9. California

Santa Barbara California
Virrage Images / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 9.0%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 27.5%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 859,036
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 2,620,556
  • Median household income: $83,056
  • Poverty rate: 11.4%

8. Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 9.6%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 25.3%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 33,234
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 89,657
  • Median household income: $86,391
  • Poverty rate: 8.9%

7. Delaware

New Jersey from Delaware
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 9.6%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 33.7%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 29,655
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 104,317
  • Median household income: $70,911
  • Poverty rate: 11.3%

6. Texas

Corpus Christi Texas
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 10.0%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 33.0%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 754,986
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 2,491,015
  • Median household income: $66,031
  • Poverty rate: 13.5%

5. Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana at night
f11 photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 10.2%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 35.5%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 94,543
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 326,378
  • Median household income: $51,730
  • Poverty rate: 17.8%

4. Florida

Naples, Florida homes
LesPalenik / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 10.3%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 31.5%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 581,970
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 1,780,650
  • Median household income: $61,736
  • Poverty rate: 12.3%

3. Alabama

Montgomery Alabama
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 10.9%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 27.2%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 138,786
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 346,693
  • Median household income: $53,956
  • Poverty rate: 14.7%

2. New Jersey

Jersey City, New Jersey
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 11.8%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 37.3%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 281,372
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 886,882
  • Median household income: $87,016
  • Poverty rate: 9.5%

1. Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Mortgage holders behind on their payments: 12.1%
  • Mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 50.4%
  • Total mortgage holders behind on their payments: 103,607
  • Total mortgage holders lacking confidence in their ability to pay: 430,907
  • Median household income: $47,247
  • Poverty rate: 18.8%

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

To determine the states with the highest percentage of mortgage holders behind on their payments, researchers calculated the number of mortgaged households who reported not being current on their mortgage payments compared to the state population.

In the event of a tie, the state with the higher percentage of mortgaged households lacking confidence in their ability to pay was ranked higher. Respondents categorized as “lacking confidence in their ability to pay their mortgage” were those who were not highly confident. All mortgage data is from Week 41 (Dec. 29, 2021, to Jan. 10, 2022) of the Household Pulse Survey. The income and poverty statistics are from 2020, the most recent data available.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.