underwater mortgages - Articles

Underwater Homes Recede to Below 20% in U.S.

Zillow By Camille Salama The share of U.S. homeowners who owe more on a home than it's worth has dropped below 20 percent for the first time in years, according to Zillow's fourth quarter Negative Equity Report. As home values have continued to rise over the past year, millions of so-called "underwater" homeowners... Continue Reading »

Fewest Foreclosures in California Since 2005

AP SAN DIEGO -- California home foreclosure activity plummeted to an eight-year low in the fourth quarter as price gains left fewer owners owing more money than their properties were worth, a real estate research firm said Tuesday. There were 18,120 default notices filed on houses and condominiums from October through... Continue Reading »

Why 2013's Rise in Home Prices Is Big Lift for U.S. Economy

Shutterstock By Dunstan Prial Buried within hundreds of pages of data gathered by the Federal Reserve and released in December was a very important statistic for U.S. homeowners –- net equity in household real estate rose by $2.2 trillion from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013. Syndicated... Continue Reading »

Scary Money Stories: When Houses Haunt Your Finances

Getty Images Many of the scariest money troubles have to do with real estate. A misstep managing home-related finances can mean having to move back in with Mom... or worse. Come hear some of our readers' most spine-tingling tales of financial woe -- and find out what you can do if it happens to you. The Money Pit In the... Continue Reading »

California City Backs Plan to Seize 'Underwater' Mortgages

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images By Jim Christie RICHMOND, Calif. -- Richmond, Calif.'s leaders approved Wednesday morning a plan for the city to become the first in the nation to acquire mortgages with negative equity in a bid to keep local residents in their homes. The power of "eminent domain" allows governments to seize... Continue Reading »

Housing Prices Lift 2.5 Million Homes Out of Negative Equity

Shutterstock Rising home prices drove down the number of U.S. homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages in the second quarter, leaving 14.5 percent of residential properties with a mortgage in negative equity, a report from CoreLogic showed on Tuesday. The rate was down from 19.7 percent in the first quarter, 22.3... Continue Reading »

City Sued Over Its Plan to Aid Homeowners Through Eminent Domain

An investor group filed a federal lawsuit against Richmond, Calif., to prevent the city from using eminent domain to seize mortgages of local residents who owe more than their properties are worth in a bid to keep them in their homes. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in a Northern California court by mortgage bond... Continue Reading »

Rising Home Prices Keep Lifting Underwater Mortgages, Report Says

More homeowners got out from underwater on their mortgages in the first quarter as a recovery in housing lifted prices, a report from CoreLogic showed on Wednesday. There were 9.7 million properties underwater -- whose owners owed more on the mortgage than the homes were worth -- during the quarter, down from 10.5 million... Continue Reading »

Government's HARP Program Has Been Extended

By Vera Gibbons The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced the extension of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, through the end of 2015. HARP is one of two government programs aimed at helping homeowners who are current on their mortgage -- but have little to no equity -- to refinance their mortgage at a... Continue Reading »

12 States With the Most Underwater Mortgages

By Mamta Badkar Despite the housing recovery, 21.5 percent, or 10.4 million, of all residential properties continued to be underwater at the end of Q4 2012, according to the latest data by CoreLogic. The value of negative equity -- when homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth -- fell to $628... Continue Reading »

What Is an Underwater Mortgage?

By Diana Olick An underwater mortgage may sound like you're dealing with beachfront property gone bad, but it's actually a term of art in the world of real estate. You probably heard this term in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and its accompanying real estate bubble. So what is an underwater mortgage? CNBC... Continue Reading »

Struggling Homeowners Turned to Short Sales in 2012

By Les Christie Struggling homeowners increasingly turned to short sales to get out from under mortgage debt last year. There were nearly three times as many short sales as there were sales of foreclosed homes in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosures accounted for 11 percent of all sales, down from 13 percent a... Continue Reading »

20 States With the Most and Least Mortgage Debt

Still a threat to the housing recovery that everyone is lauding is a staggering amount of mortgage debt that many homeowners can't crawl out from under. Imagine what that debt totals in the states hardest hit by the housing crisis. With millions of mortgage holders in each state -- some of them seriously underwater -- the... Continue Reading »

2 Million Underwater Homeowners Rose From Negative Equity in 2012, Report Says

By Cory Hopkins Almost 2 million American homeowners were freed from negative equity in 2012, and the overall percentage of all homeowners with a mortgage in negative equity fell to 27.5 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, according to Zillow's fourth quarter Negative Equity Report. The falling negative equity rate... Continue Reading »

Strategic Default Has a Hidden Cost You Might Not Be Willing to Pay

By Mitchell D. Weiss If you're one of the 28 percent of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage that's higher than your house is currently worth, is it time to toss the keys to your lender and walk away? According to Zillow's third quarter Negative Equity Report, some 14 million people combine to owe an estimated $1 trillion... Continue Reading »

More Underwater Homeowners Bail Themselves Out in 3rd Quarter

The housing market's downturn was so severe that it has taken years to even begin approaching pre-meltdown normalcy, but as it improves, more homeowners are finding themselves in much better financial positions. During the third quarter of the year, negative equity in the housing market took a sizable tumble, according to... Continue Reading »

More Late Mortgages Catching Up to Speed

While the housing market has been somewhat rocky in the last several months, there have generally been improvements, and that trend continued into the second quarter of the year. The number of first-lien home loans nationwide that were current and performing through the end of the second quarter climbed to 88.7 percent,... Continue Reading »

'I'm Trapped in a High-Rate Mortgage'

By Les Christie Record-low mortgage rates of 3 percent to 4 percent have been out of reach for these homeowners. Despite having good credit and making their payments on time, they're stuck paying 6 percent or more on their loans. See the whole story on CNNMoney. It Would Kill My Father to Walk... Continue Reading »

12 Cities Where Homeowners Are Deep Underwater

By Mamta Badkar Analysts have been out saying housing has turned the corner. Adding to signs of a recovery is a report from Zillow that shows that the number of homeowners in negative equity -- in which a borrower owes more on their mortgage than their home is worth -- is declining. Being in negative equity is also known... Continue Reading »

Half of Mortgage Borrowers Under 40 Are Underwater

By Les Christie NEW YORK -- Rising home prices helped nearly 1 million homeowners emerge from being underwater on their mortgages during the second quarter. But younger homeowners are still struggling to stay afloat, according to a report from Zillow. The percentage of borrowers who owed more on their homes than they... Continue Reading »

If You Know You Won't Be Able to Keep Up With Your Mortgage, Here Are Some Options

By Christopher Maag Donna Moore's husband earns a good income, and he can easily afford to pay their mortgage. But in a few months, when her husband retires, all that will change. "(W)e will not be able to pay this mortgage," a reader using the screen name "Donna Moore" wrote in response to a recent Credit.com story,... Continue Reading »

Late Payments on Mortgages Hit 3-Year Low

By Alex Viega LOS ANGELES -- U.S. homeowners are getting better about keeping up with their mortgage payments, driving the percentage of borrowers who have fallen behind to a three-year low, according to a new report. Still, the rate of decline remains slow, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday. The... Continue Reading »

Millions of Older Americans at Risk of Foreclosure

By Les Christie NEW YORK -- A growing number of older Americans are falling into serious mortgage debt, with more than three million borrowers over the age of 50 at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure, according to a recent report from the AARP. Since the housing crisis started, more than 1.5 million homeowners age... Continue Reading »

Eminent Domain a Worthy Fix for Troubled Mortgages?

By Christina Rexrode FONTANA, Calif. -- In the foreclosure-battered inland stretches of California, local government officials desperate for change are weighing a controversial but inventive way to fix troubled mortgages: Condemn them. Officials from San Bernardino County and two of its cities have formed a local agency... Continue Reading »

Hope That U.S. Can Weather New Foreclosure Storm

Like a dark, ominous cloud, the menace of a foreclosure onslaught has loomed portentously over the U.S. real estate market in recent months, threatening to wash away a fledgling recovery. Now it looks like the storm has hit -- but this time we may be ready for it. After more than two years of sputtering, the... Continue Reading »

How to Get Your Mortgage Above Water

The problem: You want to sell your home but the loan is underwater. To sell now, you'd have to dig into other assets to fill the gap between what you owe and what the home will fetch, and you just don't have that much. The solution? Hope home prices start to recover, continue to make regular payments to steadily reduce... Continue Reading »

Underwater Mortgages Keeping Housing Market Afloat?

The more than 20 percent of U.S. homeowners stuck with "underwater" mortgages may be in a rough spot -- but, believe it or not, that may be giving a boost to the housing market. Though negative equity is forcing millions to stay put in homes that are worth less than their mortgages, it means fewer properties are going... Continue Reading »

Should Underwater Homeowners Just Walk Away?

Almost a third (31.4 percent) of homeowners with mortgages are underwater, according to the 2012 first-quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report, yet 90 percent of them are current on their mortgages and continue to make payments. Deciding whether to "stay and pay" on a home that's worth less than you owe is a tough financial... Continue Reading »

Strategic Default: Would Half of Homeowners Walk Away?

While there may be signs that the housing market is mounting a comeback, homeowners hit hardest by the real estate meltdown aren't growing any more patient, a new poll suggests. An online poll conducted by real estate website HousingPredictor found that nearly half of of those who responded said that they would walk away... Continue Reading »

Only 5% of Underwater Homes May Qualify for Write-Downs

Only about 1 in 20 underwater homeowners may qualify for principal reduction under states' recent settlement with five big banks, a new study says. A calculation by a Brookings Institution economist narrowed down the pool of underwater homeowners to 500,000 who could qualify for principal reduction from the $25 billion... Continue Reading »


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