A high percentage of Americans (71 percent) who took the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s Mortgage Reality Check in November and December may not be able to pay for their homes and risk foreclosure.

Here are some of the results from the nearly 1,700 people who took the test:

  • 52 percent of the respondents admitted to skipping payments on some bills in order to find money to pay others.
  • 61 percent do not believe their financial situation will be improved by refinancing their home.
  • 62 percent are having trouble sleeping due to worry over their current financial situation, the possibility of losing the home or car, or the ability to use credit.

Perhaps more troubling is that the numbers of homeowners in trouble increased from October.

The check, available on the Web site www.housinghelpnow.org, asks 12 questions and then ranks you in one of three categories.

RED is “immediate advice or assistance is recommended.

YELLOW asks you to “review the responsibilities of home ownership.”

GREEN means “you don’t appear to be at risk.”

If you’re feeling anxious about your mortgage you may want to take this test and check out the Web site. It gives you a phone number to call for help.

January 8, 2008