Banks Claimed a Record 1M Homes Last Year
And this year will be even worse
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2011 9:15 AM CST
In this file photo taken July 21, 2010, a "bank owned" sign is seen on a home that is listed as a foreclosure on a HUD website, in Hawthorne, Calif.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)

(Newser) – Banks repossessed a little more than a million homes last year, a record high, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac—and that’s despite a sharp drop off in the fourth quarter thanks to the robo-signing scandal. Next year will likely be even worse, one RealtyTrac exec tells NPR, forecasting 1.2 million repossessions. What’s worse, banks are repossessing homes faster than they can sell them, building a backlog that won’t clear until around 2013.

In all, 2,871,891 homes were affected by some form of foreclosure filing, and that number “would have easily exceeded 3 million had it not been for the fourth-quarter drop,” RealtyTrac’s CEO said in the official report. “Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record high … and many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 will likely be re-started" in 2011.