In 2007 foreclosures skyrocketed 75% – including default and foreclosure notices as well as bank repossessions. 405,000 houses were lost. The worst hit is the Sun Belt that had seen hey days during the house ballooning years. In the last month of last year foreclosures climbed up by 97% as compared to the previous year. It is a grim picture when more than 1% of all the houses in the country are sitting on some stage of foreclosure. It shows a rise of 0.58% since the previous year.
In California the situation is worst with about 66,00 having lost their houses in 2007. In Michigan 47,000 succumbed to foreclosures. There were 250,000 foreclosure listings in California – the highest among all the states Florida came a close second with 165,000 foreclosure filings.
Other states that were badly hit are Michigan, Ohio and Colorado. Michigan, further battered by loss of jobs in the automobile industry had more than 87,000 filings. Ohio and Colorado registered more than 89,000 and 39,000 filings respectively.
Nevada with 10,000 units was not left far behind. Nevada has a per capita rate double that of California with 3,376 filings for every hundred units. It was more than three times the national rate and the highest for any state. Gail Burks of the Nevada Fair Housing Center comments that in Las Vegas, the biggest city of Nevada, 40% of the houses are in foreclosure. Some areas are seeing 22 foreclosures every month.
Initially some of the numbers were confusing because there were multiple mortgages on one unit but there is no doubt that the situation is alarming with foreclosures having gone up by 100%, says John Taylor of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. A more comprehensive approach is the need of the hour. Despite measures taken by the government and the lending industry – low interest rates and other measures, foreclosures continue apace. Mainly it is because the real estate market has not picked up. Thus borrowers are not getting the chance to sell and pay off debts.
Some states have been able to contain the virus. Maine with 286 foreclosure listings and Vermont and South Dakota with 29 and 24 are in a much better position. Many states have reacted positively to the foreclosure crisis without waiting for help to filter through from Washington. They have not only got organized but have started taking legal action against the lenders.