New Mexico has a relatively high home foreclosure rate

Clients often come to us with complex money problems that can include potential loss of homes through foreclosure when monthly mortgage payments become impossible because of unemployment and other factors. While the number of foreclosures nationally in May 2017 had dropped 19 percent over the previous year, New Mexico ranked number 8 of all states for the number of foreclosures, according to ATTOM Data Solutions as reported by

New Mexico foreclosure rates

Specifically, the May 2017 New Mexican foreclosure rate was 1 in every 1,168 homes, up an incredible 73.5 percent since April 2017 when it ranked number 20. Since May 2016, however, New Mexico’s rate has decreased about 11 percent.

The states with higher rates than New Mexico starting with number 7 and ending with number 1 were Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

Unemployment is high

A foreclosure can harm the homeowner’s credit score as well as deprive a family of its home. Unfortunately, foreclosure may be looming for many New Mexicans because the state ranks number one in the nation for its unemployment rate at 6.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ April 2017 numbers.

Avoiding foreclosure

It is important for an individual or family facing possible foreclosure to learn about all of its options, including the possibility of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While Chapter 7 provides assistance in some situations, Chapter 13 is the more popular bankruptcy type to help with foreclosure.

Significantly, when a petition for either kind of bankruptcy is filed, all collection efforts and lawsuits, including those for foreclosure, must immediately stop. In Chapter 13, the debtor enters into a court-approved three-to-five year repayment plan during which past-due mortgage payments are made up. In addition, current mortgage payments must be made and kept current during the repayment plan to keep the foreclosure at bay.

Anyone with questions about solutions when behind on mortgage payments or even facing foreclosure should speak with an experienced debt-relief lawyer. Bankruptcy may be a good choice, but sometimes there are other options like a refinance or loan modification from the lender. In some cases, a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure may be possible.