20 States With the Most and Least Mortgage Debt

mortgage debt
mortgage debt

Still a threat to the housing recovery that everyone is lauding is a staggering amount of mortgage debt that many homeowners can't crawl out from under. Imagine what that debt totals in the states hardest hit by the housing crisis. With millions of mortgage holders in each state -- some of them seriously underwater -- the states with the most mortgage debt are strapped for billions. (Make that trillions for the state with the most mortgage debt in the country.)

"Although the housing market is beginning to take stronger steps toward recovery, it continues to be weighed down by a massive amount of mortgage debt that is holding many homeowners hostage in homes that are worth less than what is owed on the mortgage," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac. "This is contributing to a shortage of inventory available for sale in the market, which is hobbling a recovery in the housing market and, by extension, in the overall economy. Until rising home prices ... help recalibrate the ratio of mortgage debt to home values, we can't declare a fundamentally sound housing recovery."

RealtyTrac broke down the 10 states with the most mortgage debt and the 10 states with the least, which you can see in the gallery below. "Of biggest concern are those states where total mortgage debt exceeds the total value of homes with a mortgage," Blomquist said. "When the cumulative equity for a state is negative, there are still foundational fissures threatening the health of that state's housing market -- even if there are positive signs of strength above the surface."

See also:
The Happiest and Most Miserable Cities in America
10 States Where You Can't Get a Mortgage
U.S. Cities With the Most Vacant Homes

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Using a Credit Card for Mortgage Payments
Using a Credit Card for Mortgage Payments
Originally published