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Price declines put 400K more homeowners underwater

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The number of "underwater" homeowners grew by about 400,000 during the final three months of 2011, to 11.1 million, as home prices fell as a result of seasonal declines and a slowdown in processing homes through the foreclosure process, data aggregator CoreLogic said today.CoreLogic said 22.8 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to 22.1 percent at the end of September.Add another 2.5 million borrowers who had less than 5 percent equity in their homes, and 27.8 percent of homes are either underwater or in danger of becoming so in the event of further price declines."The high level of negative equity and the inability to pay is the 'double trigger' of default, and the reason we have such a significant foreclosure pipeline," said CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming in a statement.The economic recovery will increase the ability of homeowners to pay their mortgages, but negativ...