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Who’s Underwater?! A Look at US States with Upside Down Mortgages

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  • August 25, 2009

US map underwater mortgages

More than 15.2 million mortgages – 32.2% of all US mortgages – are underwater

According to a report by First American CoreLogic, almost a third of all US home mortgages are underwater. For those unfamiliar with the term, a mortgage is underwater when the mortgage amount owed on the home is worth more than the home itself.

Approximately 15.2 million homes are now in a negative equity position, which represents about 32.2% of all home loans. Negative equity is a strong cause of foreclosure according to Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American CoreLogic.

Which States are Underwater?

Over half of all underwater mortgages can be accounted for in just 3 states: Nevada, Arizona and Florida. The second worst offenders are California and Michigan.

Although the negative equity rate has dropped from 32.5% at the end of March, it is by no means an indication of a recovering housing market. More and more underwater mortgage help has been made available through several government programs lately, however, and hopefully the trend will continue.

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  • ken creech

    Looks like we need to bail out the homeowners with the same urgency we bailed out the big banks, since our citizens really are too big to fail. I personally think we should have let the big banks and AIG be liquidated, and saved the more than 100 small banks that went under. Free markets both create and require competition to work. It was not a free market that created this mess. Rising Govt. debt is a symptom of our real problems, not the cause of them. The solution to debt is to get people back to work, with jobs that pay enough that they owe income taxes. More tax breaks to the wealthy is obsurd, as they are wealthier than ever before yet creating fewer jobs than ever. Extra money to Romney goes into overseas tax shelters, while more money to individuals is spent in the stores, thus creating jobs. Raise minimum wage to $14 dollars an hour and then get rid of the Earned Income Credit. This is the kind of bipartisan compromise we need. Perhaps we should at least require them to pass an aptitude test to get into office.