Foreclosures rise 15 percent in first half of 2009
Foreclosures keep soaring as unemployment becomes main cause of housing woes
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. households on the verge of losing their homes soared by nearly 15 percent in the first half of the year as more people lost their jobs and were unable to pay their monthly mortgage bills.
The mushrooming foreclosure crisis affected more than 1.5 million homes in the first six months of the year, according to a report released Thursday by foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.
The data show that, despite the Obama administration’s plan to encourage the lending industry to prevent foreclosures by handing out $50 billion in subsidies, the nation’s housing woes continue to spread. Experts don’t expect foreclosures to peak until the middle of next year.
Foreclosure filings rose more than 33 percent in June compared with the same month last year and were up nearly 5 percent from May, RealtyTrac said.
“Despite all the efforts to date, we clearly haven’t got a handle on how to address the situation,” said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s senior vice president for marketing.
More than 336,000 households received at least one foreclosure-related notice in June, according to the foreclosure listing firm’s report. That works out to one in every 380 U.S. homes.
Since the election in November one home in every 76 has received at least one foreclosure notice.