The foreclosure epidemic that ignited today's economic crisis continues unabated, as illustrated by new up-to-the-second figures released by the Center for Responsible Lending. CRL's website, http://www.responsiblelending.org/mortgage-lending/tools-resources/national-foreclosure-ticker.html, now displays a constantly updated counter showing new foreclosure starts this year for the nation and also by state.
The counter is based on data collected by the Mortgage Bankers Association and adjusted to cover the entire market. It graphically depicts the magnitude of home losses as they mount each day. Nationwide, 46,000 foreclosures start every week, or one every 13 seconds. Ultimately, these numbers are adding up to the 2.4 million foreclosure starts expected to occur this year alone.
The national "ticker" links to a U.S. map that includes foreclosure counters for each state. Nearly a quarter of all the states expect more than 50,000 foreclosure starts this year. Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Arizona are projected to have close to 100,000 or more. California and Florida will experience the highest level, with the two states expecting 462,000 and 423,000, respectively.
"The time for addressing home losses one-by-one is long over," said Michael Calhoun, president of CRL. "As long as we see this rate of foreclosures, economic recovery will remain out of reach. These counters vividly demonstrate the need for swift and meaningful action to address the foreclosure crisis."
To stop the downward spiral of home losses, policymakers must stop relying on voluntary actions by lenders. Funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) should be used to reduce home losses and encourage more loan modifications. In addition, there is an effective, tax-free way to stop the foreclosure epidemic: Allow homeowners to get loan modifications through the courts.