Banks repossessed more than 1 million homes in 2010 and this year is expected to get even worse, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure tracking resource. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgage payments, which industry analysts say will likely lead to lenders taking back even more homes this year as borrowers continue to struggle with job losses and dropping home values.
"2011 is going to be the peak," says Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac Inc.
One in 45 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing last year, a record high and a 1.67 percent increase from 2009.
Some states are harder hit than others. In Nevada alone, one in every 11 households received a foreclosure filing last year. The state had a 71 percent spike in bank repossessions in December.
Banks in recent months have mostly slowed their pace in evictions, following allegations that they were handled improperly. But Sharga says banks will resume repossessions and the first quarter will likely show a rebound in foreclosure activity.
The states with the highest foreclosure rates:
Source: “Lenders Take Back 1 Million Homes Last Year Despite Slowdown in Foreclosures in December,” Associated Press (Jan. 13, 2011)