Fewer Americans are having trouble paying their mortgages now compared to a year ago, according to a new Harris Interactive poll.

About 22% of those surveyed last month said they had difficulty making their mortgage payments, down from 29% a year earlier, Harris said in a report released Monday. Additionally, 21% of respondents believed they were "under water" on their mortgage, meaning that the outstanding balance is higher than the home is worth, according to the report. That's down three percentage points from last year.

The findings seem to reflect an improving job market, with more jobs and lower unemployment. March's unemployment rate fell to 8.8% from 8.9% in February while the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs, the U.S. Labor Department said last week. In March 2010, the unemployment rate was 9.7%.

But the news isn't all good. Another reason for the decline in struggling homeowners is that some of those who had been having trouble keeping up their payments last year have since sold or lost their homes through foreclosure. Of those polled, 66% said they had a mortgage, down from 69% in Harris's year-ago survey.

After all, the U.S. housing market is still in flux. The median home price is February was $156,100, down 5.2% from a year earlier, while so-called distressed homes -- houses sold at a discount -- accounted for 39% of February sales, the National Association of Realtors said last week.

"These findings are consistent with other Harris Poll data on the economy that show a very modest, but, still painfully slow, recovery from the recession," Harris Interactive said in a statement. "Many millions of people are still hurting badly even if the numbers are slightly better than they were last year."

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A Reverse Mortgage enables seniors to convert part of their home equity into tax-free income without having to sell, give up title, move out or make monthly payments.


July 17 2013 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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June 12 2011 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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April 13 2011 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is fantastic time to refinance home mortgage. As Clark Howard says it is very tough to find these low rates for long time. Search online for "Mortgage Refinance 123" they found me THE lowest possible rate.

April 06 2011 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How much B.S.does the media think we believe? The government and big corps are trying every spin possible to try and have us believe things are rosy "out there" beyond thier ivory towers. What they need to understand is that we live "out there" and know whats going on.

April 05 2011 at 6:21 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Okay right from the Main Street, just had a lovely talk with the Sheriff, who came to put a nice sign on my house, why cause even bankruptcy protection is no protection from the too big to fail bankster mobsters -- this is how it was explained to me, by my friend the sheriff. The administration in charge tweaked the bankruptcy laws last year when they put thru the lovely Dodd Frank bill.
Here's the part they didn't tell US. Do you know now that when default on a home, the bank writes it off, and then REO's it---for the bankster dudes it's a win win for the homeowner even under bankruptcy protection - they are reported to the IRS and the debt becomes income like magic and you are taxed on it like it's a paycheck. Second if you have a credit card and you choose to settle -- guess what that's also considered income as well, and you are taxed on it accordingly.
Fewer Americans are struggling to pay mortgages cause the banksters are doing a quick step to destroy the evidence.

April 05 2011 at 12:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The housing market is what started the catastrophe, created mainly by the banks, when they gave huge mortgages to those with no money (pizza deliverers) and then bundled those mortgages and sold them to investors.
When the mortgages defaulted, the bundles were worthless and the REPUBLICANS HAD CREATED THE WORST CRISIS EVER because of their greed. Now, after WE bailed them out the bankers are again getting huge bonuses (after "screwing" us with their endless greed) and are trying to derail the regulations, put into place by the democrats, so that they can start the process again.


April 05 2011 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Don't know where they are getting their info. My husband has been on 3 days for over 2 years. He gets maybe a half a day more every once and a while. He said this morning that orders for what he hauls has started dropping again.

April 05 2011 at 10:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone really believe this article ? Does anyone believe the country is better off ?? Does anyone buy nickel candy?

April 05 2011 at 9:17 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to marine1942's comment

I am so glad wrote that Obviously Danny is the AOL spin master of the day, do you think his office cube is anywhere near Agigail's ?? and obvioulsy was not watching 60 minutes or 60 minutes Overtime Sunday night. If this isn't political spin !! I see those pink pig's flying again

April 05 2011 at 9:30 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply