Almost 40% of Second Mortgages Underwater

And it's proving a drag on the recovery
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2011 1:07 PM CDT
Almost 40% of Second Mortgages Underwater
This Feb. 15 photo shows a discarded sofa in front of an abandoned house in the Windy Ridge subdivision of Charlotte, N.C.   (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Homeowners who took out a second mortgage are twice as likely as those who didn’t to be underwater on their mortgages, with a whopping 38% owing more than their homes are worth, according to a CoreLogic report released today. They were also much deeper in the hole, with an average of $83,000 in negative equity, compared to $52,000 for those who hadn’t borrowed against their homes. That’s proving a major drag on the housing recovery, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“When a homeowner’s house is underwater it’s harder to get a credit card or a car loan,” one Moody’s economist says. “There are all sorts of little, pernicious effects that you don’t necessarily think about.” One homeowner the Journal talked to agrees. “I’m sweating. I have a broken car in my driveway I can’t afford to fix,” he says. “I’m hoping they don’t come after me for the money I owe them.” (Read more underwater mortgage stories.)

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