As Bank Moratoriums End, Foreclosures Surge

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2009 7:49 AM CDT
A realtor shows potential real estate buyers a foreclosed home.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As internal bank moratoriums on foreclosure imposed last year expire, many more Americans are losing their homes, the Wall Street Journal reports. Foreclosure proceedings were up 6% in February over January, and up 30% from March 2008. Just as the Obama administration's rescue plan kicks in, delinquents who don’t qualify for federal aid appear to be out of luck. That raises the possibility foreclosed properties will flood the market, lowering prices further.

In hard-hit California, pre-foreclosure action was up more than 80% in March from the month before. A state law had kept banks from moving against delinquent homeowners. One lender said it was restricting foreclosure to people who “have not been in contact with us and/or do not qualify for the modification programs,” but the process could hurt banks as well. The moratoriums may have “postponed the realization of problems,” one analyst said.