WASHINGTON – More than 2.3 million American 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.
Nationwide, more than 860,000 properties were actually repossessed by lenders, more than double the 2007 level, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure listing firm.
Moody’s Economy.com, a research firm, predicts the number of homes lost to foreclosure is likely to rise by another 18 percent this year before tapering off slightly through 2011.
Still, foreclosures – which keep breaking records going back 30 years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association – are likely to remain well above normal levels for years to come, and that will continue to keep home prices from rebounding.
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