Orlando emerged as the most stressed-out area in the quarterly consumer distress index released today by the nonprofit credit counseling agency CredAbility. Tampa Bay fell a notch to second. Miami-Fort Lauderdale came in fifth worst.
The stress index measures the financial condition of households in 30 metro areas based on employment, housing, credit, how families manage household budgets and net worth.
Not surprisingly, Florida's housing slump was a huge drag. The biggest negative affecting Orlando, for instance, was its mortgage delinquency rate of 13.58 percent.
All three major Florida metros scored far below the level of 70, which indicates a state of financial distress.
But there was some good news in the latest snapshot: for the first time since 2008, the overall index climbed out of distress levels, with U.S. households scoring a 71.3 on the index's 100-point scale. Housing, though one of Florida's biggest banes, accounted for much of the national improvement. Late payments on mortgages hit a three-year low while more homeowners were able to refinance, cutting their housing costs.