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Underwater: it’s a scary term for many real estate owners here in South Florida, and it’s a major concern for many who pay their mortgage payment each month, knowing full well that the amount on the home loan is so much greater than the current value of the home itself.

It’s a continuing dilemma:  is it financially wise to keep paying on that mortgage, or is it throwing good money after bad?  What are the ethical and moral considerations in a strategic default?  Is this a short term problem – by hanging in there, will real estate values return in time, making the question moot?

This month, CoreLogic issued a report that addresses some of these concerns:  in its Negative Equity Report for the fourth quarter of 2012, CoreLogic provides detailed analysis on the state of underwater mortgages in this country today.

Read the release concerning the latest CoreLogic Negative Equity Report online here.

From the report:

  • while 200,000 mortgage holders saw their homes return to positive equity as home prices are rising, the speed with which this underwater turnaround is happening isn’t getting faster: instead, it appears to be getting slower.
  • 38.1 million properties with a mortgage now have positive equity.
  • 11.3 million of these positive equity mortgage holders have less than 20% equity.
  • 21.5% of residential mortgage properties in this country are still underwater.
  • 52.4% of Nevada residential mortgages are underwater, the highest in the country.
  • Florida has the second highest number of underwater mortgages in the nation with 40.2% of Florida mortgages in negative equity.
  • Five states total for a third of the underwater mortgages in the entire 50 states in this country:  Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan.


Underwater mortgages remain a huge problem for property owners in our community.

Larry Tolchinsky’s Tip:

Underwater mortgages are a serious concern here in South Florida, and have been for many years.  Home owners must weigh the pros and cons of their situation, whether or not to face foreclosure or short sale when they have homes that have values so much lower than their mortgage amounts.  It’s a financial consideration, as well as a personal value decision.

What to do about negative equity for you and your family is a real issue for many people living in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, and there are many legal and personal issues to resolve for these home owners.  It’s a big problem in our community and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Consider these numbers from Zillow regarding our local area:

Broward County

39% of homes are underwater

23% of underwater homes are delinquent on their mortgages

Palm Beach County

37% of homes are underwater

21% of underwater homes are delinquent on their mortgages

Miami-Dade County

42% of homes are underwater

30% of underwater homes are delinquent on their mortgages



Do you have questions or comments?  Then please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at, or (954) 458-8655. If you have a specific or personal situation, please call or email Larry because he can’t answer specific fact questions in general comments. 

“I’m happy to take your call.”

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