Florida plays role in national crisis

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Falling home prices in Florida, California, Nevada and other once-hot markets are among the reasons the national housing crisis will continue longer and with more severity than earlier forecasts. Nationally, 23 percent of homeowners with a mortgage owe more on their loans than their homes are worth, and that figure is expected to rise to 28 percent by this time next year, according to Moody’s Economy.com. Investor speculation, the transformation of the mortgage market into complex and hard-to-value securities, rising unemployment and continuing economic woes for borrowers are all contributing to a perpetuation of the crisis.