Thursday, April 19, 2007

Home Foreclosures Up 47% in March

Foreclosure filings in the United States jumped 47 percent last month from a year ago as the housing slump continued to take its toll on homeowners, with more than 149, 000 filings posted in March. In Arkansas, 505 familes faced home foreclosures in March.

The number of owners making late payments on mortgages is at a four-year high and many borrowers are unable to refinance their debt because the value of their homes has stagnated or fallen. With the failure or sale of 50 subprime mortgage companies, which provide loans to people with poor or incomplete credit, there’s also less money available for lending.

“Foreclosure activity shifted into a higher gear in the first two months of 2007, and March’s numbers continued that trend,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. Nationally, one of every 775 households moved into the foreclosure process, which can range from default notices for late payment to auction sales and bank repossessions. Banks typically start the process after mortgage payments are 90 days late.

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