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Posted: April 15, 2013 8:17 a.m.

Georgia high in underwater mortgages

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia is featured prominently in a survey of ZIP codes where mortgage holders owe more on their homes than the homes are now worth.

Nationwide data compiled by Zillow identified the worst 1 percent of ZIP codes for mortgage debt exceeding home value. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/11b4rYE ) that Georgia has nearly a quarter of the ZIP codes. Michigan is second. Many of the Georgia ZIP codes make a crescent around Atlanta's southern flank.

A senior economist at Wells Fargo, Mark Vitner, said declining home values have been a huge drag on Atlanta's economy.

Officials say people with homes underwater aren't likely to move or make improvements. Antonio White of Riverdale said he owes $98,000 on a home that's now valued on the tax rolls at $39,241.

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