10% of homeowners facing mortgage woes

Dec 5, 2008

The latest look at home foreclosure rates paints a bleak picture: As of the end of September, a record one in 10 American homeowners with a mortgage were either at least a month behind on their payments or in foreclosure.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said Friday the percentage of loans at least a month overdue or in foreclosure was up more than 9 percent in the April-June quarter, and up more than 7 percent from a year earlier.

A record 1.35 million homes were in foreclosure in the third quarter, driving the national foreclosure rate up to 2.97 percent, according to the MBAs National Delinquency Survey. Thats a 76 percent increase from a year ago

At the same time, the number of homeowners falling behind on their mortgages rose to 7 percent, up from 5.6 percent a year ago, the association said.

While 20 states showed declines in the rate of foreclosure starts between the second and third quarters, every state but Alaska had an increase in the 90 days or more delinquent category, the MBA said in a release.

Nine states had foreclosure start rates above the national average: Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California, Michigan, Rhode Island, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The others were below the average. No specific numbers for Arizona were immediately available.

Employers slashed 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34 years, catapulting the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

The U.S. tipped into recession last December, a panel of experts declared earlier this week. Since the start of the recession, the economy has lost 1.9 million jobs.

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