Reports of the housing crunch are all over the Internet, the newspapers and the television. Here in New Hampshire, foreclosures are on the rise. In 2007, banks foreclosed upon 2,000 New Hampshire property owners, and foreclosures are expected to reach 3,000 for 2008. As of the 2007 fourth quarter, 18,000 New Hampshire loans had past due payments.

What can you expect if you are in the process of divorce and one of the thousands of New Hampshire property owners experiencing trouble making your mortgage payments? The court has jurisdiction under NH RSA 458:16,I (h) to order the sale of the home only if the party residing in home does not have sufficient financial resources to pay the debts and obligations of the property in a timely manner. These debts and obligations include the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and ordinary maintenance of the home. However, the continuing decline in the housing market can spell trouble for divorcing couples who are trying to stay afloat even when the parties agree to list the home for sale or the court orders the home to be placed on the market. According to the New Hampshire Association of Realtors, home sales in Hillsborough County New Hampshire have dropped 26.8% and the median home price has dropped 7.8%. Although these numbers have not seen as drastic a drop as the national numbers, divorcing couples in New Hampshire need to be prepared to sell at lower prices after a longer stay on the market.

For more information about the current New Hampshire housing market, Laura Knoy recently hosted a program on NH Public Radio that can be found here.