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States Hardest Hit by Foreclosures Have Fewer Owner Occupied Homes

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for-rent-until-foreclosedLast year, thousands of clients came to LegalMatch.com seeking foreclosure attorneys. Data compiled from LegalMatch.com databases indicates that California and Florida are first and second in the nation for the total number of homes going into foreclosure. Florida, for instance, accounted for 15% of the total number of people seeking foreclosure attorneys through LegalMatch. Florida, however, only accounts for 8% of the total number of owner occupied homes in the United States, according to latest available data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Many other states are not far behind Florida’s unfortunate ratio. Below are some of the states with similarly disproportionate representation:

% of Total U.S. Foreclosures Reported in 2008 to LegalMatch, By State 

California 21%
Florida 15%
Arizona 3.8%
Maryland 3%
Nevada 1.7%

% of Total Owner Occupied Households in the U.S. (U.S. Census 2007 Estimates)

California 15.2%
Florida 8%
Arizona 2.5%
Maryland 2.5%
Nevada .09%

Not coincidentally, these states also represent a veritable who’s who of states on the list of Top 10 Worst Foreclosure Rates by State.

For all the states doing poorly, there are also states doing well.  New York, for instance represents 9% of the nation’s owner occupied housing units, but only accounts for 3.4% of LegalMatch customers seeking Foreclosure attorneys. Texas is similarly doing well, accounting for 5% of LegalMatch foreclosure respondents, but over 10% of U.S. owner occupied homes.

More analysis may show why these states were hit particularly hard. Some factors may include demand, differing mortgage and foreclosure policies, and vastly different housing markets. California and Florida, for instance, are always roller coaster rides for housing booms and busts. People frequently flock in and out of the states as markets rise and fall. Stay tuned for more analysis as we watch how these numbers shake out over time.

Ken LaMance

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