Homeowners who took out a second mortgage are twice as likely as those who didn’t to be underwater on their mortgages, with a whopping 38% owing more than their homes are worth, according to a CoreLogic report released today. They were also much deeper in the hole, with an average of $83,000 in negative equity, compared to $52,000 for those who hadn’t borrowed against their homes. That’s proving a major drag on the housing recovery, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“When a homeowner’s house is underwater it’s harder to get a credit card or a car loan,” one Moody’s economist says. “There are all sorts of little, pernicious effects that you don’t necessarily think about.” One homeowner the Journal talked to agrees. “I’m sweating. I have a broken car in my driveway I can’t afford to fix,” he says. “I’m hoping they don’t come after me for the money I owe them.” (Read more underwater mortgage stories.)