Jay Mallin/Bloomberg News
Despite promises from the White House, the number of homes in foreclosure across the U.S. in 2009 climbed to 2.8 million, an increase of 21% over 2008 and a staggering 120% jump since 2007. According to Irvine (Calif.)-based foreclosure-tracking company RealtyTrac, 2.21% of all U.S. housing units—one in 45—received at least one foreclosure filing last year. In RealtyTrac's yearend report of total foreclosures in 2009, the states that were hardest-hit by foreclosures continued to be Nevada, Arizona, Florida, California, and Utah, accounting for 50% of the national total. Nevada had 112,097 foreclosures, or more than 10% of all housing units in the state. Vermont suffered least, with only 143 foreclosures. RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio says that 2009 could have been a lot worse: "As bad as the 2009 numbers are, they probably would have been worse if not for legislative and industry-related delays in processing delinquent loans." He points out that foreclosures peaked in July but warns that for 2010, a "massive supply of delinquent loans continues to loom over the housing market." In other words, don’t expect foreclosures to become rare any time soon.
All data courtesy of RealtyTrac