Foreclosures up 75 percent in 2007


We heard it was bad. But we had no idea-and we REALLY mean no idea-it was THIS bad.

405,000 lost their homes to repossession. Foreclosures in December alone were 97 percent higher than the year prior. More than 1 percent of all homes were in some stage of foreclosure-compared with approximately .58 percent for 2006.

The areas most negatively affected: California and Florida.

California claimed the largest total number of foreclosure filings, with 250,000-in addition to 66,000 home repossessions, which also was tops in the country. Florida, meanwhile, stayed close with 165,000. Ohio was third with 89,000 foreclosure filings, while Michigan totaled 87,000. Colorado was not far behind the others, with 39,000 foreclosure filings.

The states least affected: South Dakota (24), Vermont (29), and Maine (286).

“There are parts of the country where we’re seeing many more bank repossessions,” said Rick Sharga, a spokesman for RealtyTrac. “People are flat out losing their homes.”