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Underwater borrowers drying off as home-equity rises

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WASHINGTON (6/6/14)--The number of homeowners grappling with underwater mortgages has fallen to levels not seen since late 2009, according data released Thursday by CoreLogic.

More than 3.5 million homeowners have recaptured equity in their properties over the past year, with about 6.3 million homes still considered underwater--meaning the amount owed on the property is worth more than the property itself--down from 9.8 million year-over-year ( MarketWatch June 5).

Further, CoreLogic analysts expect 1.2 million more homes to surface above negative equity in the next 12 months, assuming home prices gain 5%, as the Irvine, Calif.-based firm has predicted.

Home prices are up 10.5% year-over-year, according to CoreLogic.

"Prices continue to rise across most of the country and significantly fewer borrowers are underwater today compared (with) last year," Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic CEO, told MarketWatch .

But while the number of homeowners underwater continues to evaporate, nearly one-fourth of all 43 million mortgaged homes nationwide are still considered under-equitied--meaning they possess less than 20% of equity in their homes.

The positive trend in home-equity hasn't been evenly distributed throughout the country either, as five states account for nearly one-third of all negative equity, including several that were hit the hardest when the housing bubble burst.

The states were Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Florida and Mississippi.

News of the Competition (06/06/2014)

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  • LOS ANGELES (6/6/14)-- The city of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase alleging the bank saddled minorities with risky mortgages and then reaped the profits from their inevitable foreclosures ( Forbes June 5).  Some believe the suit could ultimately rake billions away from the bank in settlements, just as suits against other big banks have led to massive payouts for similar discriminatory lending practices. This suit alleges JPMorgan has conducted these predatory lending practices--imposing different terms or conditions on a discriminatory basis--since at least 2004. The suit also alleges that after the economic downturn in 2008, according to Forbes , the big bank then began refusing to hand over mortgages to minorities, or offering them with higher rates than the borrowers should have received. . .