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RealtyTrac: 3.9 Million Defaults in 2009

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted December 10, 2009




According to the data released today by RealtyTrac Inc, U.S foreclosure filings will reach a record for the second consecutive year with 3.9 million notices sent to homeowners in default.

That’s much worse than the previous record when 3.2 million borrowers slid into default just last year.

All told, nearly 307,000 households, or one in every 417 homes, received a foreclosure-related notice in November. The only bright spot was that the figure actually fell 8 percent from a month earlier in October.

Even so, most foreclosure experts agree that the foreclosure crisis is likely to get worse before it gets better.

“We don’t really believe the underlying problems have been resolved,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president at the Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing service. Many borrowers, he said, “simply aren’t going to qualify” for help.

As a result, foreclosure filings were still up 18 percent from a year ago, while a new wave is expected next year as high unemployment persists and more borrowers fall out of loan modification programs.

In the meantime, the damage falling home values has done to homeowners every where continues to grow.

To wit:

From Bloomberg by Dan Levy entitled: U.S. Homeowners Lost $5.9 Trillion Since 2006 Peak

“U.S. homeowners have lost about $5.9 trillion in value since the housing market’s peak in March 2006 as mounting foreclosures and the recession weighed on prices, according to

Almost half a trillion dollars was wiped out this year through November as housing headed for a third straight annual decline. New foreclosures and higher mortgage rates in 2010 may hinder a rebound, the property data service said today in a statement.

“A phenomenal amount of wealth has been erased since the housing bust,” Stan Humphries, chief economist for Seattle- based Zillow, said yesterday in an interview. “For many households, most of their wealth is tied up in real estate.”

The net worth of U.S. households at the end of June fell 19 percent from two years earlier to $53.1 trillion, according to Federal Reserve data. Employers have cut more than 7.2 million jobs since the start of the recession in December 2007. Unemployment was 10 percent in November as payrolls declined by 11,000, the Labor Department said last week.

LaVonna Gottschall paid $260,000 for her Merced, California, home in September 2007. She put down more than half the price and financed the rest with a 30-year fixed loan. Today, houses in her neighborhood are worth 59 percent less, according to Zillow.

‘I almost wiped out all my savings,” Gottschall, 64, a retired insurance-company clerical worker, said yesterday in an interview. “I did the right thing. I didn’t get in over my head. Now I’m living month-to-month.’

Here’s a perfect example why consumer protection is a legitimate function of government.

Unfortunately, the folks that should have stopped the housing bubble dead in its tracks failed to act.

Now all that is left an economy crushing bust, caused by greed and complicity.

This is what happens when the Corporate Congressional Complex is left to run amok.

The rest of us end up broke and out of work. Sad but true.

I thinks its high time we had a powerful lobbyist of our own.

Related Articles:

The Shrinking Middle Class

Black Friday Awaits: Will Consumers Post This Year?

The American Dream Begins to Fade

Underwater Mortgages Drive the Next Foreclosure Wave

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