US Foreclosures in 2010 Reaches 2.9 Million

Banks repossessed a record of 2.87 million homes in US throughout the year 2010 as the two year-old mortgage crisis continued to be a burden in the economy, according to foreclosure specialist RealtyTrac.

Foreclosures reached 2.23 percent of all housing in the country, which is equivalent to one out of 45 homes. This increased from 2.21 percent in 2009, the RealtyTrac stated in its report for 2010.

However, the rate of foreclosures smoothened in the fourth quarter when banks received rising legal challenges form the owners who got mad because banks took their homes under a haphazard process.

The report showed that December’s 257,747 foreclosure filing were 26 percent lower than the number of foreclosures during the earlier period of the year, and were two percent low from month to month.

RealtyTrac chief executive James Saccacio said in a statement that the total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have simply surpassed three million in 2010 if it was not for a fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity.

However, Saccacio predicted that the estimated 250,000 foreclosures halted during the fourth quarter would be reopened in early 2011.

Foreclosure rates have increased in three states namely, Arizona, Florida, and Nevada. These were the three Sunbelts states that had wide real estate overbuilding and speculative investment during the property boom in 2002-2007.

In Arizona, foreclosures reached 5.7 percent of all homes while Florida reached 5.5 percent. In Nevada, one in 11 homes or 9 percent of  all homes was hit with a foreclosure filing last year.

Arizona and Nevada filed lawsuits against Bank of America denouncing it of deceiving cash-strapped homeowners in the middle of the global economic downturn.

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