Got that sinking feeling? 1 in 4 mortgages now underwater

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Is America the next Atlantis?

It isn't as absurd as it sounds considering the rate at which new homeowners are finding themselves with property worth less than the mortgage financing it.

According to a newly released report from First American Core Logic, 10.7 million mortgages in the U.S. were underwater as of September. Furthermore, an additional 2.3 million people are teetering on the edge, and are within 5% of being upside down on their loans.

I don't know about you, but it doesn't sound to me like the recession is over for these people . . . far from it!The numbers are staggering. Scarier still is that in one state, the number of properties that are 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or deeper, has broached the 50% number, according to CNN. Perhaps appropriately, that state is the one that houses the city of sin, Las Vegas.

Astoundingly, in Nevada, 65% of homes are underwater, followed by Arizona 48%; Florida 45%; Michigan 37%; and California 35%.

While new reports seem to come out weekly that show glimmers of hope, other data such as rising unemployment, the falling dollar, weak GDP numbers, tight credit, and a collapsing commercial real estate market, doesn't bode well for housing.

That could mean that the 1 in 4 number is likely to climb significantly.

Joshua Dorkin is the founder and CEO of BiggerPockets.com, a real estate information, resource, and social networking portal.
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