Home foreclosures up during first half of ’09

As Americans continue to try to get out of debt, a recent report shows that foreclosures are up during the first half of this year, news that is bound to affect credit scores across the nation.

The RealtyTrac report shows that 1.19 percent of U.S. housing units, a total of 1,528,364 properties, have faced foreclosure during the first six months of the year. That total represents a 9-percent increase compared to the previous six months.

Unemployment-related foreclosures account for much of this increased activity, and the high number of borrowers who find themselves owing more on their mortgages than their homes are now worth represent a potentially significant future risk,” J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said.

With 391,611, California had the highest total number of foreclosures, a number that represents 2.94 percent of the state’s housing units. California had the fourth-highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. The state with the highest foreclosure rate was Nevada, with more than 6 percent of housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Though foreclosure filings are up, the number of homeowners who are trying to take advantage of lower interest rates by refinancing their homes is also on the rise. A recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that home refinance applications have seen a 17.7 percent increase.

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