Thursday, March 6, 2008

Home Foreclosures Hit All-time High

Home foreclosures soared to an all-time high in the final quarter of last year, underscoring the suffering of distressed homeowners and the growing danger the housing meltdown poses for the economy.

Yet, the Bush administration still tries to spin the market as a downturn and most of the country is actually in "expansion." Huh?

"The delinquency rate for all mortgages climbed to 5.82 percent in the fourth quarter. That was up from the 5.59 percent in the third quarter and was the highest since 1985. Payments are considered delinquent if they are 30 or more days past due." Additionally, The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a quarterly snapshot of the mortgage market released Thursday, said "the proportion of all mortgages nationwide that fell into foreclosure shot up to a record high of 0.83 percent in the October-to-December quarter. That surpassed the previous high of 0.78 percent set in the prior quarter."

The forecasts are for things to only get worse. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, earlier this week, warned that foreclosures and late payments on home mortgages are likely to rise "for a while longer."

California and Florida continued to represent a disproportionate share of the country's new foreclosures. The two states accounted for 30 percent of mortgages starting the foreclosure process, the association said. "In states like California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, overbuilding of new homes created a surplus that will take some time to work through,"

The news in New Jersey is not that much better.

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