Las Vegas Sun

December 21, 2014

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Nevada remains first in foreclosures in 2008

The Las Vegas metropolitan area ranked second in the nation last year for its rate of foreclosures, while Nevada held its top spot in the nation.

RealtyTrac, a foreclosure listing firm based in Irvine, Calif., that compiled the figures, said 67,223 properties in the area — or 8.89 percent of all properties — faced foreclosure filings. That’s a 121 percent increase over 2007.

Only Stockton, Calif., had a higher rate last year, at 9.5 percent of all housing units. Riverside and Bakersfield, Calif., and Phoenix followed Las Vegas to round out the top five.

Seven percent of Nevada’s housing units, about one in 14, received at least one foreclosure notice in 2008, according to RealtyTrac. A total of 77,693 properties received a foreclosure filing during the year, an increase of 126 percent from 2007 and nearly 530 percent from 2006.

In December, Clark County had 5,534 notices of default issued and 3,134 homes repossessed, according to RealtyTrac. There was one foreclosure filing for every 58 households, well above the one filing for 134 households in Washoe County.

Foreclosures continue to increase despite the moratoriums enacted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regarding adjustable rate mortgages and programs of major lenders and loan services to delay foreclosure, according to the firm.

Nationwide, more than 2.3 million homeowners faced foreclosure proceedings last year, an 81 percent increase from 2007, with the worst yet to come as consumers grapple with layoffs, shrinking investment portfolios and falling home prices.

“Clearly, the foreclosure prevention programs implemented to date have not had any real success in slowing down this foreclosure tsunami,” said James Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s chief executive.

Moody’s Economy.com, a research firm, predicts the number of homes lost to foreclosure nationwide is likely to rise another 18 percent this year before tapering off slightly through 2011.

Still, foreclosures — which keep breaking records that have stood for 30 years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association — are likely to remain well above normal levels for years, and that will continue to keep home prices from rebounding.

“Hitting bottom is a lot different from coming off the bottom,” said Christopher Thornberg, a principal with Beacon Economics in Los Angeles.

The RealtyTrac report comes as Democrats, including President Barack Obama, develop plans to use up to $100 billion of the remaining $350 billion in bailout money in an attempt to prevent the foreclosure crisis from worsening.

The four states with the highest foreclosure rates last year after Nevada were Florida, Arizona, California and Colorado.

More than 1.1 million properties in those four states received a foreclosure notice, almost half the national total. And more than one in five of those households were in California, which is coping with massive job losses in the housing and mortgage industries as well as a rapid decline in home prices.

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