Variable rate mortgages causing problems as interest rates rise.

Almost half of all homeowners have a fixed rate mortgage and another third have no mortgage at all, but for the 18% who have a variable rate mortgage, rising interest rates could be a problem.

NY Newsday recently reported on a family that secured a four percent interest-only variable mortgage four years ago. The rate is now up to 8.5%, raising the monthly payment from $400 to $870 a month; and because of an injury, the husband had to change to a lower paying job. They are having aa big problem making the payments.

Mortgage delinquencies are up to 4.41% and are expected to rise to as much as 5.5%. Foreclosures are hold steady at roughly 1%.

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