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28% of Georgia Homes with Mortgages are Underwater

Posted on 05 March 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

That’s right, 28%. Not a good number.

More than 441,500, or 28 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages in Georgia, were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter, according to a new report. The report was prepared by Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American CoreLogic Inc., a real estate information company.

Negative equity, also commonly known as underwater or upside down, means that borrowers owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.

More than 11.3 million, or 24 percent, of all residential properties in the United States with mortgages, were in negative equity, up from 10.7 million and 23 percent at the end of the third quarter. The aggregate dollar value of negative equity was $801 billion, up from $746 billion in the third quarter of 2009.

The net increase in the number of negative equity borrowers in the fourth quarter was 620,000, with the largest percentage increases occurring in Nevada, Georgia and Arizona.

“Negative equity is a significant drag on both the housing market and on economic growth. It is driving foreclosures and decreasing mobility for millions of homeowners,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist with First American CoreLogic, in a statement.

First American CoreLogic’s data includes 47 million properties with a mortgage, which accounts for more than 85 percent of all mortgages in the United States.

Having negative equity does not mean that your home will be foreclosed, but it does indicate homes that are “under-water” and if the homeowner is having financial difficulties, foreclosure proceedings can happen pretty quickly.

If you or someone you is having financial issues and concerned about foreclosure, contact us for a free report on Avoiding Foreclosure.

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