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St. Louis area hotspot for ‘underwater’ mortgages

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A new study shows that 16 St. Louis-area ZIP code areas rank among the nation’s worst for “underwater” mortgages.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( reports that half or more of homeowners with mortgages who owe more than their homes are worth are in 11 ZIP codes in north St. Louis County. The study by the Haas Institute in Berkeley, California, finds that the same is true in two Illinois suburbs of St. Louis, Cahokia and East St. Louis, and in three ZIP codes in the city of St. Louis.

Those who owe more than their homes are worth face big obstacles in selling their homes. They are roughly twice as likely as others to default on their mortgages, leading to foreclosure.

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