Foreclosure crisis spreads across U.S.


The housing crisis is getting worse and spreading to more places across the country.

Home foreclosures are up in the Northwest and Midwest, areas that had previously escaped the brunt of the mortgage crisis, says real estate data firm RealtyTrac. Foreclosure rates in Utah, Idaho, Illinois and Colorado rose in April, May and June and are now among the 10 highest in the country. The number of homes seized by lenders at least doubled in 19 states, and more than tripled in seven of them, according to RealtyTrac.

New defaults are declining and seem to have bottomed out in states where the crisis began. Defaults are down 43 percent in California, 37 percent in Florida and 27 percent in Nevada in the second quarter. But that just means those states may be near the bottom.

More than 14.6 million Americans are out of work and consumer spending is still declining, which could force further weakness in housing and push the U.S. back into recession, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said earlier this month.

In July, 325,229 U.S. properties received a notice of default, auction or bank repossession, up 4 percent from June but down almost 10 percent from a year earlier.