Death, Kiss of: When a house is 25% underwater, it stops being a home or an investment and becomes an albatross and the owner stops merely thinking about walking away and begins calling lawyers and making plans. 4.5 million have reached that magic point, more are on the way. (Source)
The number of Americans who owed more than their homes were worth was virtually nil when the real estate collapse began in mid-2006, but by the third quarter of 2009, an estimated 4.5 million homeowners had reached the critical threshold, with their home’s value dropping below 75 percent of the mortgage balance.
They are stretched, aggrieved and restless. With figures released last week showing that the real estate market was stalling again, their numbers are now projected to climb to a peak of 5.1 million by June — about 10 percent of all Americans with mortgages. (Source)