Large Foreclosure Increase Linked To Risky Borrowing

A new study shows that the number of households entering some stage of foreclosure is up 45% over this time last year -- one for every 1,117 U.S. households.
March 15, 2006, 10am PST | Michael Dudley
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"The number of foreclosures is still low on a historical basis, but it has been rising steadily over the past year, RealtyTrac reported. Job losses in some regions were to blame, but so, too, were risky borrowing practices that left homeowners little wiggle room on their mortgage payments. And with the pace of appreciation stalling and interest rates rising, many economists and industry observers expect the pace of foreclosures to accelerate this year."

"In the last few years, many buyers took out interest-only, variable-rate loans, and in some cases put no money down to afford a house, said Frank Nothaft, chief economist with government-chartered mortgage giant Freddie Mac. He estimates one out of every three loans issued in 2005 was an adjustable rate mortgage. Now that we've seen 14 consecutive interest-rate increases since June 30, 2004, many of these loan rates are bumping up, increasing the size of mortgage payments."

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Published on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 in MSN Real Estate
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