IRVINE, Calif. – Feb. 10, 2011 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com),  the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its  U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for January 2011, which shows foreclosure  filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank  repossessions — were reported on 261,333 U.S. properties in January, a 1  percent increase from the previous month but a 17 percent decrease from January  2010. The report also shows one in every 497 housing units received a  foreclosure filing during the month.

“We’ve now seen three straight months with fewer  than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight  months where the total exceeded 300,000,” said James J. Saccacio, chief  executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Unfortunately this is less a sign of a robust  housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in  reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments  related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.”


Let's start with the good news:
Fewer than 300,000 foreclosure filings per month, and less than last year - that's the good news.

Three months of fewer than three hundred thousand for three consecutive months.

For 20 months before that, there were 300,000 or more foreclosure filings.

20 x 300,000 = 6,000,000 just to get a sense.

And why were we under the magic 300,000?

“Unfortunately this is less a sign of a robust  housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in  reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments  related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.”

Because the banks have fucked things up so thoroughly and fraudulently that they can't process the foreclosures quickly enough.  Is there any help for these people?  Not much.

And the foreclosure numbers in 2010 were just awful. According to the Year-End 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac, 2010 had a 2 percent increase in foreclosure filings over 2009, and an increase of 23 percent over 2008. One in forty-five U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing—defined as a default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession—in 2010.


But we're not in a depression.   Things are looking up.

Five days ago:
Federal Reserve says economic recovery is gaining momentum

GDP numbers and the market indices may as well be from some other planet.  Like Ben Bernanke.

These inconvenient and embarrassing facts must be hidden.  Take look at this little noticed diary about our poverty statistics too:
Poverty 101: The Official Poverty Statistics are a Fraud

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And now we find that as of last month, the foreclosures are on the rise again.  And the outlook is grim.

In January, RealtyTrac said they expect the number of foreclosure filings to increase by up to 20% this year.

Now we have even more evidence of a foreclosure rate spike in 2011.

At the end of 2010, a record number of mortgages in the U.S. were in some stage of the foreclosure process. Roughly 4.63% of home loans were in foreclosure in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase from 4.39% in the previous quarter.

As the foreclosure freeze and robo-signing scandal unwind themselves, we will likely see a continued rise in foreclosure rates throughout 2011. It’s all about the pipeline.

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More families out on the street.

And what are the people in Washington who were elected to speak for us and advocate for us doing?  Preaching to us about austerity.  And waging obscenely expensive and destructive wars.  Letting banks get away with the crime of the century.  Talking about cutting corporate taxes.  And all of them, focusing on collecting enormous, absurd amounts of money for their campaign coffers -- a billion dollars for the Obama 2012 campaign, so they say.  God only knows how much for all of the Congressional and Senatorial and state and local elections, including the PACs and other organizations spawned by Citizens United.  FSM only knows how much will be spent in total.  While they claim to represent us.

Meanwhile, there are more people losing their homes.  More and more every day.

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I have a proposal.

For starters, I propose setting up FEMA emergency housing on the National Mall right in front of the Capitol so that Congressfolk and Senators are reminded every day of what is happening in this country. I propose setting up a second FEMA emergency housing camp right on the White House lawn so the President is reminded every day too, along with the celebrity obsessed media. There's plenty of well kept open space there. The people who are losing their homes own that land just as equally as anyone else in this country. Give them a place to live if they need it.

Hell, the Senate chamber is empty most of the time anyway, so let the homeless sleep there every night too, if they like. It's warm and clean. I've heard that they have cots too. When the Senate is even in session that is, and most of the time it's not, Senators sit in their offices and watch each other talk on the TVs in their offices anyway (when they're not with lobbyists.) Let the homeless sleep in their chamber that they don't use. And set up FEMA emergency housing for the families losing their homes out on the White House lawn and on the National Mall, until they can get back on their feet.

Because this is a national emergency, whether our elected representatives choose to treat it that way or not.

Let them deal with it every damned day, up close and personal, and then let the administration and the Congress argue that we need more austerity.

Originally posted to joanneleon on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:22 AM PST.

Also republished by Jobs Wages and Community Investment Working Group and Progressive Policy Zone.

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