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    U.S. HOUSING TIME BOMB: FORECLOSURES ON THE RISE

    Matt Case - March 25th, 2024 - 7:11am PST 

    The number of home foreclosures in the United States is on the rise, reflecting the broader housing affordability crisis as Americans face higher interest rates and living costs. According to ATTOM, a real estate data provider, there were 32,938 properties with foreclosure filings last month, marking an 8 percent year-over-year increase but a slight decrease from January.

    Foreclosure, a process that begins when a homeowner fails to make mortgage payments, includes notices of default, auction schedules, and bank repossessions. The data reveals significant state-by-state disparities, with South Carolina experiencing the highest rate of filings—one for every 2,248 housing units.

    The surge in foreclosures, continuing from late 2021, follows the expiration of state and federal foreclosure moratoriums. ATTOM CEO Rob Barber noted that the uptick indicates changing conditions in the housing market, potentially affecting homeowner strategies and lending practices.

    The backdrop of this increase includes skyrocketing house prices, a housing supply shortage, and high mortgage rates, which have reached their peak in decades. The Federal Reserve's rate hikes, aimed at combating inflation, have propelled mortgage rates to a 22-year high, complicating the financial situation for homeowners.