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Home foreclosures reach record high

Julie Haviv
Reuters [1]
Friday, September 5, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Home foreclosures and the rate of homes entering foreclosure rose to record highs in the second quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Friday.

“The national foreclosure numbers continue to be driven by the hardest-hit states continuing to get much worse,” Jay Brinkmann, the association’s chief economist and senior vice president for research and economics, said in a news release.

The increases in foreclosures in California and Florida overwhelmed improvements in states such as Texas, Massachusetts and Maryland, he said.

“It is unsurprising that mortgage delinquencies picked up further in the second quarter,” John Ryding, chief economist, and Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist, at RDQ Economics in New York, said in commentary.

“However, the increase in delinquencies and foreclosures up to this point is most likely predominantly the product of poor underwriting standards. Going forward, we have to overlay the weak economy and labor market picture as this more traditional driver of delinquencies will probably become more of a factor,” they said.


For the quarter, a majority of the states saw relatively little change one way or the other, with California and Florida alone accounting for 39 percent of all of the foreclosures started in the second quarter and 73 percent of the increase in foreclosures between the first and second quarters, the MBA’s Brinkmann said.

The seasonally adjusted foreclosure starts rate, the percentage of loans that entered the foreclosure process during the April-June quarter, was 1.19 percent, up from 0.99 percent in the first three months of 2008 and 0.65 percent in the second quarter of 2007.