2.9 million (2,871,891 to be exact) homes received foreclosure
filings in 2010, according to a newly released report from the firm RealityTrac
In December, foreclosure filings were reported on 257,747 properties,
down 26 percent from 2009. The hardest hit states? Well, California,
Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan accounted for half the national
total of all filings, while Nevada, Arizona and Florida posted the top
individual state foreclosure rates. Business reporters parse the
numbers, a few conjured up revealing charts
, and all gave their opinions:
Foreclosures Rise Further In 2011? "It's pretty clear that the problem
last year was more tied to joblessness than to subprime mortgages,"
writes The Atlantic's Daniel Indiviglio,
who hedges on a forecast for the forthcoming year. "At this point, it's
hard to tell. Considering that some of the states hit hardest by the
housing collapse appear to be experiencing less foreclosure activity,
the overall numbers could begin to decline as well. It probably depends
mostly on unemployment, however. If millions of jobless Americans facing
foreclosure find work this year, then that could push down filings. But
if unemployment remains stubbornly high, then we may see another record
- Warning of 'Foreclosure Glut,' decides CNBC reporter Diana Olick, who notes in an aside that "witches in Salem"
and Feng Shui experts are cropping up to profit on the "distress" of
foreclosed owners. About the "foreclosure glut," here's what the
reporter had to say: "As the numbers mount, the [Government Sponsored
Enterprises] and the banks will have to put more resources into
unloading these properties, especially as new Spring organic housing
supply comes on the market. If they choose to slash prices even more,
the dip in overall home prices may fall deeper than expected."
- The Foreclosure Total Could've Been Larger if not for the robo-signing scandal, notes Peter King
at MortgageLoan.com. "Foreclosure filings were reported on just under
800,000 homes in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 14 percent decline from
the third quarter of the year and the lowest quarterly total since the
fourth quarter of 2008. Of those, nearly 230,000 were bank
repossessions, the final step of the foreclosure process."
- Foreclosures May Finally Start To Slow Down Next Year, figures NPR's Jacob Goldstein:
"It will be 2013 before banks sell off their backlog of unsold
houses.As we've noted before, repossessed houses tend to sell at a discount,
and this backlog is likely to keep housing prices down. It's also
likely to mean that home construction crews will largely remain idle.
Who would want to build new houses that will have to compete with all
those foreclosures coming to market?"
- Good News? Look For a Spike In Initial Foreclosure Filings at the start of the year, writes Ilyce Glink
at CBS Money Watch. Lenders are trying "to catch up on the foreclosure
filing backlog. But with today’s unemployment report spiking north
again, it’s clear that foreclosures will be trending up as well."
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