More than one million homes are now in foreclosure, the highest rate ever recorded, according to a trade group which warned Thursday that number will continue to climb.Have you noticed that Wall Street just keeps going higher with executives at top firms earning hunderds of millions of dollars. It shows the complete disconnect between the rich and the rest of us struggling to get by.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's first quarter report showed that a record 2.5% of all loans being serviced by its members are now in foreclosure, which works out to about 1.1 million homes. That's up from the 2% of loans, or about 938,000 homes, that were in foreclosure at the end of 2007.
The report also showed that 448,000 homes, or about 1% of loans being serviced, began the foreclosure process during the first quarter. That's up from about 382,000 homes, or 0.83%, that entered foreclosure in the last three months of 2007.
The seasonally-adjusted rate of homeowners behind on their mortgage payments also hit a record high. Nearly 3 million home loans, or 6.4%, have missed at least one payment, while about 737,000 are at least three months past due, but not yet in foreclosure.
Millions dollar apartments are selling like hot cakes in Manhattan while the middle class, forced to live in the suburbs because they can't afford even a simple one bedroom in the city, are seeing the value of their homes declining and their ability to pay their mortgages in serious doubt.
"The figures aren't surprising, but they're pretty ugly nonetheless," said Michael Larson, real estate analyst with Weiss Research. "We're talking higher delinquencies and foreclosures pretty much across the board."Where are those who participated in this reckless lending? They are counting their millions while those they swindled are close to homelessness. Does this sound like America to you?
And he doubts that there's much reason to expect the foreclosure crisis to abate until next year at the earliest, adding that it could be a couple of years or more before foreclosure rates retreat to more normal historical averages.
"It's the same story we've been seeing for a while now - we had too much reckless lending, and buyers who got over-extended," he said. "We've had an unprecedented decline in home prices on a nationwide basis, which is public enemy number one for mortgage loans. And now you've got an overall economy that has slowed adding to this toxic stew."