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U.S. Foreclosures Rose 53% in June, Bank Seizures Almost Triple

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Dan Levy
Thursday, July 10, 2008

U.S. foreclosure filings rose 53 percent in June from a year earlier and bank repossessions almost tripled as deteriorating property values and higher payments on adjustable mortgages forced more people to give up their homes.

More than 252,000 properties, or one in every 501 U.S. households, were in some stage of foreclosure, RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, California-based seller of default data, said today in a statement. Nevada, California and Arizona had the highest foreclosure rates.

“The foreclosure problem is getting worse and will stay with us well into the next decade,” Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in an interview. “The job market is eroding and homeowners have less equity. Lenders are much less willing to work with you if you’ve got negative equity, and you’re more likely to give up your house if you’re deeply underwater.”

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About $3.5 trillion in homeowner equity has been wiped out since the spring of 2006, when housing prices were at their peak, Zandi said. Home prices fell the most on record in April, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 U.S. metropolitan areas. June was the second straight month in which more than a quarter million properties received foreclosure filings, RealtyTrac said. Filings fell 3 percent from May.

`Faster Pace’

“The year-over-year increase of more than 50 percent indicates we have not yet reached the top of this foreclosure cycle,” James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in the statement. Bank repossessions, which increased 171 percent in June, are rising at a “much faster pace” than default notices and auction notices, he said.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

About 53 percent of borrowers with subprime loans, those with poor or incomplete credit histories, will have negative equity in their homes at the end of the year, and the number will rise to 63 percent in 2009, New York-based analysts at Credit Suisse led by Rod Dubitsky said in an April 23 report.

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This article was posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 4:22 am

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