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Jay Mallin/Bloomberg News
By The Bloomberg BusinessWeek staff
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