Foreclosure Activity Through the Roof
Foreclosure activity surged 81 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, despite the undying efforts by lenders and lawmakers to ease the foreclosure fiasco, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac. The Foreclosure Market report showed a total of 3,157,806 foreclosure filings -- including default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- were reported on 2,330,483 U.S. properties during the year. In more digestable terms, one in every 54 housing units received at least one foreclosure filing during the year. Wow. In December, 303,410 U.S. properties received foreclosure filings, up 17 percent from November. But despite November's spike in activity, overall activity was down almost 4 percent in the fourth quarter -- a fact many would contribute to the massive volume of programs aimed at preventing or delaying foreclosure. "Clearly the foreclosure prevention programs implemented to-date have not had any real success in slowing down this foreclosure tsunami," said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. Fourth quarter foreclosure activity is up nearly 40 percent from the same quarter last year. In 2008, Nevada, Florida, and Arizona posted the highest foreclosure rates. Nevada lead the way with one in every 14 housing units receiving at least one foreclosure notice, an increase of nearly 126 percent from 2007 and a whopping 530 percent increase from 2006. As far as foreclosure totals -- given in raw numbers -- California, to no surprise, topped the list with 523,624 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in 2008. Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Georgia and New Jersey also made the top ten list of highest foreclosure totals. Write to Kelly Curran at firstname.lastname@example.org. Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.