Are you "under water"? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are you "under water"?

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

October 8, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some of you owe more on your mortgage right now than your home is actually worth. It's called being "under water".

Eugene Brymer has been a real estate Appraiser for more than 30 years. He says down payment assistance programs, part of the sub-prime meltdown, contributed to some people owing more than their home is worth. Brymer says those programs were meant to help more people into home ownership.

But now, it's easier for some of them to accept foreclosure since they won't lose any equity.

He said, "It's easier for them to walk away right now because the majority of the people walking away don't have anything invested in the house. They were making a payment on it and everybody was hoping that values would continue to go up and they would have equity in the house at one point in time, but it didn't happen that way."

One in six homeowners now owes more than what their home is worth. Brymer says he handles about 30 foreclosures a year, compared to about six ten years ago.

He says the mortgage crisis isn't quite as bad in Dougherty County as it is in much of the country because the real estate market here is more stable.

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