South Florida still rife with underwater loans

Despite South Florida’s residential real estate upswing, thousands of homeowners in the region still have what RealtyTrac considers “seriously underwater” mortgages.

Three in 10 Palm Beach County residential borrowers owed at least 25 percent more than their properties are worth during the first quarter of 2014, according to the Sun-Sentinel, which cited the latest report from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac. That translates to nearly 119,000 people in the county. Six months ago, 36 percent of Palm Beach County owners – or nearly 145,000 people – had seriously underwater loans.

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In Broward County, 30 percent of borrowers – or more than 153,600 – are seriously underwater. That is a drop from 38 percent six months ago.

Throughout Florida, 31 percent of mortgaged homes were seriously underwater during the first quarter. The national average was only 17 percent. [Sun-Sentinel]Eric Kalis