Foreclosures Go From Sluggish to Frozen

Before four leading banks suspended foreclosures due to improper approvals, the process was already bogged down in the 23 states that require a judge to sign off on all foreclosure cases. In those states, the housing recovery has faltered, some economists claim. For example, in California there is no requirement for a judge's approval of a foreclosure; the housing market there has been recovering for the last year. But in Florida, where a judge's OK is required, home prices continue to decline. Some housing market experts argue that a moratorium on foreclosures may hurt as many homeowners as it helps -- and the market as a whole will stagnate.