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. 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.