Thursday

Foreclosures Skyrocket

It's getting scairy out there for homeowners ...

Foreclosures jumped up 47% from the number just a year ago, with a record 149,000 foreclosures filed in March 2007. That's one home out of every 775 nationwide according to RealtyTrac, the folks who count the numbers.

Winning top prize was was Nevada, which took first place for each of the last 3 months and was more than 4 times the national average. That state always was a gamble...

Roaring into second place, Colorado saw nearly triple the national average with almost 6,300 foreclosures filed in March. California had the largest number of new foreclosures with over 31,000.

Rounding out the nation's 10 highest foreclosure states in March were Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Folks, this is not a list you want your state to be on. Foreclosures drive down real estate values (and sales prices) for all nearby homeowners.

The 5 states with the most foreclosure filings in March were California, Florida, Texas, Michigan and Ohio. Together these 5 states accounted for half of all the foreclosures in the entire US.

Stockton, California had more foreclosures than any other city in the country, 1 for every 128 homes ... a frightening number and enough to make you either move or buy up all the land and become a very, very big landlord.

Some folks blame bankruptcy law changes that made it harder for ordinary folks to keep their homes and reorganize their debt under Chapter 13. Others say the feeding frenzy of sub prime predatory lenders has finally come home to roost. Some of it is likely the result of mortgage fraud schemes too. Whatever the cause, it's a national problem that your congress person ought to do something about before the roof caves in.

Want tips on how to complain? You can also write your congressional representative and ask what he or she is doing to help your neighbor keep his home.

Why should you care? Because when they board up the doors and windows on your neighbor's house, the value of your's goes down. It really is just that simple.