The number of U.S. households on the verge of losing their homes soared by nearly 15 percent in the first half of the year as more people lost their jobs and were unable to pay their monthly mortgage bills.
The mushrooming foreclosure crisis affected more than 1.5 million homes in the first six months of the year, according to a report released Thursday by foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.
The data show that, despite the Obama administration’s plan to encourage the lending industry to prevent foreclosures by handing out $50 billion in subsidies, the nation’s housing woes continue to spread. Experts don’t expect foreclosures to peak until the middle of next year.
More than 336,000 households received at least one foreclosure-related notice in June, according to the foreclosure listing firm’s report. That works out to one in every 380 U.S. homes.
On a state-by-state basis, Nevada had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate in the first half of the year, with more than 6 percent of all households receiving a filing. Arizona was No. 2, followed by Florida, California and Utah. Rounding out the top 10 were Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Idaho and Colorado.
Those are some grim numbers. That coupled with the projections that foreclosure will not peak for another year is very ugly economic news.
Now on to one sign of good news locally; a Star-Ledger article titled New Jersey foreclosure rate falling. Let's take a look at how the Garden State is fairing -
Initial foreclosure filings on New Jersey homes have fallen through the first half of 2009, and government programs are getting some of the credit.
Foreclosure activity has dropped up to 30 percent across the first half of the year compared with the same period the previous year, according to data being released today by RealtyTrac, a private company that monitors foreclosure data. The company watches activity across a number of stages of the foreclosure process.
Initial foreclosure filings in the first five months of the year fell nearly 20 percent, according to the New Jersey Judiciary, although May data was not complete.
Still, industry watchers think the state's foreclosure rate is falling for a number of reasons: New Jersey was not as exposed to the plague of subprime mortgages as other states, Trenton and industry groups have been pushing foreclosure prevention programs and home prices have not fallen as much here as in other areas of the country....
There are mixed opinions about whether the numbers will stay lower than last year or whether foreclosures will come back up.
"It's hard to tell at this point what's going to happen," said James Silkensen, the co-president of the New Jersey Bankers Association. "We're certainly hopeful it will be a continuing downward slide."
One interesting part of the article not above is that the state's foreclosure counseling programs are reporting that they are as busy as ever. Perhaps that is a good thing - people are aware and proactive. Fighting to keep their property or at least not lose it to foreclosure is much better than the walkaways or people feeling so beat down by the system they are apathetic.