TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Stacey Vanek-Smith: More than 900,000 homes went into foreclosure in the first three months of this year. That’s according to a report out this morning from RealtyTrac. Here to talk about this with us is our very own Jeremy Hobson in New York, he joins us live. Good morning Jeremy.
Jeremy Hobson: Morning, Stacey.
Vanek-Smith: So Jeremy, break some of these numbers down for us.
Hobson: Well foreclosure filings were up in the first quarter by 7 percent from the previous quarter, according to RealtyTrac. They’re up 16 percent from a year ago. Listen to this statistic: 1 in every 138 homes received a foreclosure filing during the last quarter — which I have to say as somebody who pretty regularly covers the housing market is a bit surprising, just because of all the other good news in the economy that we’ve been getting over the last several months, with the obvious exception here of the labor market. And that has to be feeding in, all that unemployment has got to be feeding into the amount of foreclosures we’re seeing.
Vanek-Smith: Hmm. Is this problem concentrated in certain areas? Is it spread out across the country?
Hobson: It’s across the country, but the usual suspects are at play here. California, for example, accounted for 23 percent of all the foreclosure filings in the first quarter; Florida and Arizona come behind. And in terms of the highest foreclosure rate, it’s Nevada, where 1 in every 33 housing units got a foreclosure filing. That is a 15 percent increase over the previous quarter.
Vanek-Smith: Wow. Does the problem appear to be getting better, getting worse?
Hobson: It’s getting worse, and the troubling thing about that is think about all of the programs the federal government has put into place to stem foreclosures. There are mortgage modifications programs, foreclosure, moratoriums in some states. And worse yet, if we can get any worse in this report I’m sorry to say Stacey, the company RealtyTrac predicts the problem’s going to get worse as the year goes on.
Vanek-Smith: Hmm. Well, wish we had better news, but Jeremy, thank you so much.
As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.
Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.
Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.