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Homeowners rise above underwater mortgages

Black Knight report says number of homeowners in negative equity positions has shrunk by 1.6 million in the last year

Although a majority of distressed homeowners are plagued by mortgages that far exceed the actual value of their homes, the number of homeowners with underwater mortgages is shrinking, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ latest Mortgage Monitor report. The mortgage industry technology and data analytics provider said that 77 percent of borrowers in foreclosure have underwater mortgages, and about a third of borrowers in active foreclosure have current loan-to-value ratios of 150 or more, meaning they owe 50 percent more than their homes are actually worth. But the number of homeowners in negative equity positions has shrunk by 1.6 million in the last year, Black Knight said. In addition, negative equity distribution varies considerably depending upon geographical location and home values within a given market. The top five states by percentage of borrowers underwater are Nevada (16.4 percent), Florida (15.1 percent), Maryland (14 percent), Illinois and New Jersey (1...