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Higher Interest Rates Are Forcing Housing Foreclosures across the Country

Foreclosure rates are increasing as many homeowners struggle to make their mortgage payments on time.

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  • MARY WENKE, Public Trustee, Arapahoe County:

    Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to our sale this morning in Arapahoe County…

  • TOM BEARDEN, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Eighty-seven properties were on the auction block recently in a weekly sale in Arapahoe County near Denver. All but one were homes in foreclosure because the owners failed to make their mortgage payments.

  • MARY WENKE:

    We have to maintain that file on an active status until…

  • TOM BEARDEN:

    Mary Wenke has been running these auctions for the last eight years. In her first year as the county's public trustee, she handled 700 foreclosures.

    This year, Wenke's filing cabinet is already bulging with more than 1,600, and she anticipates a total of 5,000 for the year. She's even selling houses with mortgages signed earlier this year, where people never even made the first payment.

    Do you ever think about the people behind these stories?

  • MARY WENKE:

    Of course we do. And, you know, this is not fun work to do, because we know that, for every file that we handle, there's a family or a person out there that's being displaced.

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