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Some Mass. residents go months without paying mortgage

Financial hardship has made mortgage payments difficult for some Massachusetts residents.

Financial hardship has made mortgage payments difficult for some Massachusetts residents.

While the housing market has been showing signs of life for over a month, financial stress has left many Massachusetts residents unable to pay their mortgage.

According to reports from the Boston Globe, over 36,000 residents have not made a mortgage payment in over three months and one-third of that total haven't made a loan payment in over a year, according to data the paper compiled from mortgage data company Lender Processing Services.

For many homeowners, being in arrears for this long would force them out of their home, but in Massachusetts, according to data collected from the mortgage data company, it takes approximately 583 days to seize a property. That's because a new law is on the books in Massachusetts that gives homeowners 150 days to square away their finances before the foreclosure process begins.

A report like this might give people planning on moving to the Bay State area some pause. And given the fact that the Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate firm that tracks New England housing trends, says the foreclosure rate jumped in the state by 32 percent in 2010, it's understandable.

But in comparison to the national foreclosure rate, Massachusetts pales in comparison. RealtyTrac has Boston as having the 134th highest foreclosure rate among the country's most populated metro areas.