Despite a recent trend toward home price appreciation, a new report reveals that nearly 10 million U.S. families are still "underwater" on their mortgages.
The research, conducted by UC Berkeley's Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, also confirmed and underscored the overwhelmingly negative impact of predatory lending on minorities. Analyzing negative equity and foreclosure data in tandem with race and income data, the organization found that African Americans and Latinos make up at least 40 percent of the population in 71 of the 100 cities with the highest rates of underwater home loans. They also represent at least 75 percent of the population in 146 of the 395 hardest-hit ZIP codes.
With their homes representing the bulk of their wealth, Blacks and Latinos have seen their household wealth erode by 52 percent and 66 percent, respectively, as a result of the foreclosure epidemic; while the decline was limited to just 16 percent among white Americans.