Not only is the housing crisis not over, it looks like it’s accelerating, despite claims in Washington and on Wall Street that a recovery is underway. The only reason the number of foreclosure notices stayed just under 3 million in 2010 was that some banks backed off at the end of the year to avoid bad press. Les Christie reports for CNN Money via Yahoo Finance:
Foreclosures were at a record high in 2010, and more than 1 million people lost their homes, even as notices started leveling off during the end year.
In total, there were nearly 2.9 million foreclosure notices filed during the year, according to report released Thursday by RealtyTrac. That was a record high, but just 1.7% above 2009.
It most certainly would have been higher had notices not plunged in November and December as banks halted tens of thousands of foreclosures in the face of the robo-signing scandal.
“Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity,” said James Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s CEO. “Many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 — which we estimate may be as high as a quarter million — will likely be re-started and add to [foreclosure] numbers in early 2011.”…
[continues at CNN Money via Yahoo Finance]