Why foreclosures hit a record high

A foreclosure sign hangs in front of a home for sale.

TEXT OF STORY

Today, we learned home foreclosures in April hit a record high for a second straight month. RealtyTrac reports more than 340,000 properties received foreclosure filings, default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. That's a 32-percent increase over last year. The latest from Marketplace's Jennifer Collins.


JENNIFER COLLINS: Billie Jo Downing has been selling homes in Colorado for 15 years. For the last three, she's been specializing in helping people at risk of foreclosure. Ask her to add up her clients.

BILLIE JO DOWNING: Oh goodness.

About 40 clients a month and they keep multiplying.

DOWNING: I think there's a perception out there that it's people who, oh they just want to get out of their own bad decision making. That's not what we see.

She sees middle-class people who were keeping up with their payments until they lost their jobs or got hit with divorce. Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac says unemployment is just one of reason foreclosure numbers are so high. But he says there's another: Banks and states delayed thousands of foreclosures to give people extra time to make payments. But now that time is up, and those foreclosures are hitting the market.

RICK SHARGA: We have yet to see any state or industry moratorium that hasn't just resulted in essentially a delaying of the inevitable.

Sharga says he expects foreclosures to stay high until the job market improves and home sales rebound.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.

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