Underwater mortgages plague half of Atlanta homeowners
In a recent report on mortgage equity in the U.S., there was good news and bad news for residents of metro Atlanta. In the former category, the percentage of Atlanta homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth declined by nearly one percent from the first quarter of 2012 to the second.
But in this situation, unfortunately, it seems that the bad news outweighs the good. In the second quarter of 2012, more than half of Atlanta homeowners were underwater on their mortgages. This means that Atlanta has the second-worst percentage of underwater homeowners of the top 30 markets in the U.S.
Specifically, 54.4 percent of metro Atlanta homeowners had negative equity in their homes in the second quarter, down from 55.2 percent in the first. Only Las Vegas has more underwater homes, with 68.5 percent of homeowners in that city owing more than their homes are worth.
Both of these numbers are significantly higher than the national average of homeowners with underwater mortgages, which fell to 30.9 percent in the second quarter.
In sum, 573,016 Atlanta homes have negative equity totaling nearly $40 billion. But perhaps the most negative news of all is that more than 20 percent of Atlanta homeowners owe twice – or more – than what their home is worth.
Despite their predicament, however, it seems that Atlantans are finding ways to avoid foreclosure than homeowners in other parts of the country. Here, 7.8 percent of homeowners are delinquent on their mortgages by 90 days or more, which is less than the national average of 9.2 percent.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Metro Atlanta 2nd worst in underwater homeowners,” David Markiewicz, Aug. 23, 2012
The attorneys at our Atlanta bankruptcy firm help homeowners who are dealing with underwater mortgages. For more information, please visit our foreclosure page.