A new record for property foreclosures

TEXT OF STORY

STeve Chiotakis: Something investors will be keeping an eye on here at home today: the tally of properties hit with foreclosure notices last year. A report from RealtyTrac says December marked the tenth straight month with more than 300,000 foreclosure filings. And as Marketplace's Bob Moon tells us, the numbers for the full year are all the more jaw-dropping:


Bob Moon: Even as he allows that foreclosure numbers have been mounting for months and shouldn't come as a surprise, RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga still sounds amazed:

Rick Sharga: Some of these numbers are unprecedented -- 10 percent of the households in Nevada were in some stage of foreclosure over the past year. That number is simply unprecedented as far back as these numbers can be tracked.

Sharga says property foreclosures across the country in 2009 added up to a new record -- 2.8 million:

Sharga: You wind up with 2.2 percent of all the households in the country receiving a foreclosure notice over the course of the year.

And he worries even that doesn't give a true picture of how bad it really is:

Sharga: The numbers probably would have been significantly worse. The unfortunate reality is in most cases, the programs to slow down the foreclosure tsunami really aren't preventing foreclosures as much as they're just delaying foreclosures.

Sharga offers little hope for any improvement soon, with more loans on the verge of re-setting to higher interest rates in the months ahead.

I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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