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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Foreclosures Spiked in 2008

About 2.3 million households were the subject of a foreclosure filing last year, up 81 percent from 2007, according to data released today by RealtyTrac, a private research firm.

The filings range from default notices to notifications that a home is scheduled for auction or has been repossessed by the lender. RealtyTrac collects data on more than 90 percent of U.S. households.

In its year-end report, the firm said Nevada, Florida and Arizona had the worst foreclosure rates, while the Washington region ranked 23rd. It also noted that foreclosure filings increased 17 percent in December compared with November, despite state and federal efforts to slow the foreclosure process.

“Clearly the foreclosure prevention programs implemented to-date have not had any real success in slowing down this foreclosure tsunami,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a statement.

The data comes as government and industry efforts to keep people in their homes have been hampered by the deepening recession. According to a recent Mortgage Bankers Association survey about 10 percent of home mortgages were in some form of distress during the third quarter of last year.

-- Renae Merle

By Washington Post Editor  |  January 15, 2009; 7:38 AM ET
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