To many, the housing crisis of 2008 did not necessarily end; instead, the problem only magnified when mortgage after mortgage went unpaid. Now, millions of Americans are living with serious debt, which often leads to home foreclosures. In Mississippi, the state of the housing market is similar to that of various other parts of the country. While improving slowly, experts say there is nevertheless a long way to go.
The National Conference of State Legislatures revealed in 2016 that unemployment is one of the driving factors behind home foreclosures. And although employment is also improving in the Mississippi, the process has been slow. The NCSL also noted of recent legislation regarding foreclosures — a legislation introduced by 31 states and Puerto Rico. Many lawmakers favored this potential step in handling mortgage situations, but Mississippi’s bill died in committee in 2016, along with many other similar bills. The bill would have allowed borrowers to meet with a lender on the modification of a mortgage loan on a principal residence before foreclosure proceedings could take place.
The outlook on Mississippi’s foreclosure situation may be uncertain, but other states around the country have taken another unorthodox approach to addressing the issue. In a 2015 article, the New York Times reported that a small legal step could allow millions of families to keep their homes without any additional cost. The reason for this potential change is that these foreclosure cases have simply dragged on for far too long, in part due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The exact number of those living in foreclosed homes is difficult to determine, but the Times uses external sources to show that a large majority of those homes are still occupied. This estimate could, indeed, call for a change in Mississippi’s foreclosure procedures in the future.