Foreclosure is one of the worst nightmares a homeowner can face. You have worked hard to establish yourself financially and invest in a home you can call your own. When plans change and you find yourself unable to pay your mortgage, it can be devastating. You are far from alone, though, and there is a range of different circumstances that can lead to foreclosure.

According to WalletHub, New Jersey has the highest foreclosure rate of any state in the country. Higher than average housing costs and insufficient wages are certainly part of the problem, but there are many other issues that contribute to this epidemic. The following are three other common culprits.

1. Loss of employment

When a lender approves you for a mortgage, they generally base the approval on the income you are earning at your current job. If you happen to lose this job or see a reduction in wages, you could very easily find yourself struggling to make the payments due on your home each month. This is one of the top reasons for foreclosure, and it is one of the biggest reasons it is imperative to have emergency savings.

2. Unexpected medical bills

Poor health can strike at any time. You may be perfectly healthy one day and in the hospital the next. Medical emergencies such as these do not discriminate, and they can cause severe financial duress for families and individuals alike. Medical bills are exorbitant, and even with insurance, you might be unable to juggle medical bill payments and mortgage payments.

3. Major life changes

People generally buy a home when they are settling down and in a stable position in their life. Perhaps you have a family and want to raise your kids in a house you own. Major life changes can disrupt the stability that enables you to stay on top of your mortgage, though. Changing jobs or getting a divorce are just two examples of shifts in your life that might precipitate a foreclosure.