7000 People a Day Thats a Big Number

US Foreclosure Rates Soar to Record Highs in 2009

2009 proved the worst year on record for US foreclosure rates as the subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing economic recession wreaked havoc on American homeowners nationwide. Over 2.8 million properties received foreclosure filings throughout last year according to new data from RealtyTrac. This translates to a 21% surge over 2008 totals and a 120% spike since 2006 when home values peaked just before the devastating housing crash took hold.

The hardest housing markets hit all centered in economically battered states featuring massive unemployment and previous overreliance on vulnerable industries in housing, finance and manufacturing. The top impacted states included:

Nevada – 1 out of every 16 homes (highest risk)

Arizona – 1 out of every 33 homes

Florida – 1 out of every 36 homes

California – 1 out of every 42 homes

Michigan – 1 out of every 53 homes

Other noteworthy foreclosure rate trends in 2009 defining the crisis included:

  • 1 out 4 foreclosures came from prime borrowers (not just subprime)
  • 718,000 bank repossessions (24% spike vs 2008)
  • Over $500 billion lost homeowner equity as values plunged

The widespread real estate mayhem shows negligible signs of slowing anytime soon absent major financial reforms or mortgage modification programs easing resetting adjustable rate burdens on battered homeowners. 2009 will unfortunately mark just another painful milemarker as the tragic housing crisis slog drags onwards with communities, leaders and institutions scrambling mitigating devastating impacts.

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