Florida leads nation in distressed mortgages

As home prices fell and the job picture worsened, the percentage of Florida home loans either past due or in foreclosure hit 23 percent in the second quarter, outpacing any other state in the nation.

The figure represents 807,000 loans, a staggering sum of the roughly 3.5 million mortgages outstanding in Florida.

"Florida deserves special mention as the worst state in the country," said Jay Brinkmann, the chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association, which released the numbers Thursday. "Nevada is a close second, but everyone else is far behind."

Florida's problems, along with California, Arizona, and Nevada — states that saw some of the headiest home price increases during the boom — represented 44 percent of the total number of loans in foreclosure nationally.

Twelve percent of all Florida loans were in some stage of the foreclosure process as of June 30, with 10.8 percent past due by a month or more.

Nationwide, 4.3 percent were in foreclosure and 9.24 percent were 30 or more days delinquent.