Home Foreclosure Rates on the Rise Again

June 14, 2012
/
by Sarah Childress Senior Digital Reporter, FRONTLINE Enterprise Journalism Group

U.S. home foreclosure filings increased 9 percent last month over April, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, an online marketplace that tracks foreclosures.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 205,990 homes in May — that’s one in every 639 homes nationwide. That’s about 4 percent lower than this time last year, but the rising monthly rates underscore how difficult it will be to restart the devastated housing market.

Foreclosures slowed last year amid a lawsuit filed by the federal government and state attorneys general against some of the nation’s biggest banks for abusive lending practices, according to the Associated Press. A $25 billion settlement was hashed out in February of this year, clearing the way for banks to take action against people who had defaulted on their payments.

Georgia, one of the states that saw a huge housing boom, posted the highest rate of foreclosures in the country last month, with filings on one in every 300 homes. Arizona, Florida and Illinois were close behind. RealtyTrac maps the foreclosure rate state-by-state below:

But in Georgia, at least, the bust might have been prevented. In Part One of our film Money, Power and Wall Street, we followed the outcry in Georgia, where many people had taken on mortgages with terms they didn’t understand, and couldn’t pay back. So in 2002, Roy Barnes, the governor at the time, passed the Fair Lending Act to crack down on high-cost loans — what was considered the toughest predatory lending law in the nation. But the mortgage lobby fought back. Watch what happened next:

You can watch all four hours of Money, Power and Wall Street online here.

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Support Provided By