Economic growth is improving the loan-to-value ratios for homeowners in bigger homes in wealthy high-tech cities, but homeowners in the Rust Belt and other impoverished regions are drowning with mortgage balances greater than their home's value, according to a report released Thursday by ATTOM Data Solutions.

The Irvine, Calif., company found 6.7 million homeowners seriously underwater in the second quarter with loans at 125% or more of their home's value. That's down 4% from a year ago, and about half of its peak of 12.8 million in 2012′s second quarter.

In a separate survey released Thursday, ATTOM found 86,201 foreclosures in July, or one foreclosure for every 1,540 homes. It was the lowest number of foreclosures since December 2005 before the housing bubble burst.

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Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.