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.
Half of metro Atlanta homeowners are upside-down in their mortgages, according to fourth-quarter data from Zillow.com, but the rest of the state is in better shape. Nearly 22 percent of mortgage-holders are underwater in the Augusta metro area, and experts say rural areas probably have fewer than that.