underwater - Articles

Underwater Borrowers Becoming Accidental Landlords

By Diana Olick Maria Wells said she never intended to be a landlord. She sells real estate; she doesn't invest in it. Now the Florida resident owns two properties. One was her son's, but he had to move to take a new job. The other was hers, but she got married and moved in with her husband. She can't sell either because... 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 »

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 »

Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Could Hurt Underwater Homeowners

By Credit.com The fiscal cliff draws closer by the day, and federal lawmakers are now trying desperately to reach an agreement that is at least somewhat palatable to both parties. Now, those negotiations might include a number of costly tax breaks designed to help consumers who owe more on their home loans than their... 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 »

'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 »

Home Price Gains Pull 400,000 Homeowners Above Water

Home price increases helped more homeowners regain some equity in their homes during the second quarter, according to an analysis by Zillow. Zillow's Negative Equity Report estimates that 30.9 percent of homeowners with mortgages owed more than their homes were worth at the end of June, down from 31.4 percent at the end... 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 »

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 »

Julius Erving Faces Foreclosure on Utah Home

NBA legend Julius Erving, universally known as Dr. J, is facing foreclosure now that he has defaulted on the mortgage for his 6,572-square-foot St. George, Utah home (pictured below) that he had custom-built in 2006, reported TMZ. "When I moved to Utah, I thought about it as moving into semi-retirement, the back nine of... Continue Reading »

New Obama Housing Fix: $50K Bridge Loans

There's a new federal program to help delinquent homeowners keep their homes as they grapple with loss of income: Up to $50,000 in an interest-free "bridge" loan for lower-to-middle-income mortgagers to cover past-due and future mortgage payments. With so many homeowners disheartened by the lack of acceptance into... Continue Reading »

Mortgages: Walking Away Gets Moderate Acceptance

There's nothing like a housing crisis to inspire moral ambivalence. In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, more than a third of respondents said walking away from a mortgage is acceptable in certain situations. While a solid majority (59 percent) believes that so-called "strategic defaults" are wrong, an... Continue Reading »

HAMP Hobbles Behind Private Modification Programs

The federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program has a lot of work left to do if it hopes to catch up to the private sector. HAMP, with its promise of helping up to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure, completed 36,695 modifications in July. In the same period, private mortgage programs completed 120,351... Continue Reading »

Homebuyer Tax Credit: Another on the Way?

Could this month's dreadful home sales numbers prompt the feds to offer another homebuyer tax credit? Mum's the word on Capitol Hill, but HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan would not rule out the option during an interview Sunday on CNN. Existing-home sales sank 27.2 percent in July, and sales of new homes dropped to their lowest... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures at All-Time High, Buyers Are Bargain Hunting

While experts predict that the rate of foreclosures in 2010 will exceed those in 2009, there is some good news. RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif.-based data company, reported that the foreclosure rate dropped by about 5 percent during the first half of 2010. Still, in the first quarter of the year, one in seven mortgages was... Continue Reading »

Mortgage 'Vultures' Keep Defaulting Owners in Homes

You might think a vulture is the least likely creature to help you save your home. But there's a group of vultures who are doing just that -- in fact, they're being more of a friend, to many homeowners in trouble, than banks are. One of them, mortgage-bond trader Lewis Ranieri, has developed a method to keep troubled... Continue Reading »

Underwater Homeowners Try 'Buy and Bail'

While it's a type of mortgage fraud, more and more people are turning to the strategy of buying a new house at a lower price and then walking away from their underwater home. Now that 14 million homeowners are underwater, with a projection that their number will grow to 20 million by the end of 2011, desperation has set... Continue Reading »

20 Million Homeowners Projected to Be Underwater by End of 2011

More than 14 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgage today and Deutsche Bank projects that number will increase by 6 million to 20 million by the end of 2011. The bank also expects a rise in strategic defaults, especially in the states with non-recourse (the banks can't chase you for any shortfall). There are... Continue Reading »

One in Four Homeowners Are Underwater

This week home mortgage borrowers got the latest word on how much they owe compared to the actual value of their real estate – and the numbers are only getting uglier. First American CoreLogic, a company that gathers data on millions of mortgages that have been packaged into securities for investors, reports that... Continue Reading »

Foreclosures Come as Relief for Some Desperate Families

When Lindsay Zortman and her husband put up their newly renovated house on the market in September 2008, the family moved into a rental home so that it would be easier to close on the sale. But the real estate market collapse went into full force, and the Zortmans decided to tough out the winter and then move back into... Continue Reading »

Youth Say Mortgage Default

News flash! People under age 30 are ruining the world, so says yet another generation. This time, they turn to the mortgage crisis as proof. The Wall Street Journal notes that youngsters under 30 are less hung up about walking away from an underwater mortgage. That's because "defaults may be more common with the younger... Continue Reading »

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