Record Foreclosures

In spite of the industrywide moratorium earlier this year, along with local, state and national legislative action and increased levels of loan modification activity, foreclosure activity continues to increase to record levels.

A total of 1.9 million foreclosure filings were reported on more than 1.5 million U.S. properties in the first six months of 2009, a 9% increase from the previous six months and a nearly 15% increase from the first six months of 2008, according to RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Foreclosures that are related to unemployment account for much of this increased activity, said James Saccacio, the company’s chief executive officer here. “The high number of borrowers who find themselves owing more on their mortgages than their homes are now worth represent a potentially significant future risk,” said Mr. Saccacio. “Stemming the tide of foreclosures is a critical component to stabilizing the housing market, so it is imperative that the lending industry and the government work in tandem to find new approaches to address this issue."