More than 1 million American households are likely to lose the roof over their heads to foreclosure this year, as lenders work their way through a huge backlog of borrowers who have fallen behind on their loans. Nearly 528,000 homes were repossessed by lenders in the first six months of the year, putting 2010 on pace to eclipse the more than 900,000 homes repossessed in 2009, according to data released today by RealtyTrac. "That would be unprecedented," a RealtyTrac VP said.
By comparison, lenders have historically taken over about 100,000 homes a year. Banks have been slower to start the foreclosure process, afraid to flood the market with repossessed homes. But at the same time, lenders have stepped up repossessions in an effort to clear out the backlog of distressed inventory on their books. In all about 1.7 million homeowners received foreclosure notices from January to June, which is about one in every 78 US homes.