The non-partisan Center for Responsible Lending put out a shocking statistic today. Every 13 seconds, another home goes into foreclosure. Nationwide, there have been over 238,000 foreclosures since January 1, 2009.
The numbers are almost mind boggling. Over a quarter of the states in the U.S. will suffer more than 50,000 foreclosures this year. Texas, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio are projected to each have 100,000 foreclosures, which is nothing compared to California and Florida who are expected to have 462,000, and 423,000 each. All told 2.4 million homeowners are expected to lose their homes this year. Of course, the number of people who could lose their homes is much higher than this as these statistics don’t consider other household members who are residing with the homeowner.
“The time for addressing home losses one-by-one is long over,” said Michael Calhoun, president of CRL. “As long as we see this rate of foreclosures, economic recovery will remain out of reach. These counters vividly demonstrate the need for swift and meaningful action to address the foreclosure crisis.” Swift and meaningful action has been in short supply ever since this crisis exploded. Instead we have seen money thrown at Wall St., while thousands of people lose their homes every day. How many people could have stayed in their homes for the $20 billion in bonuses that banking executives who took TARP funds gave themselves?
While Congress continues its partisan dispute over what type of stimulus package would work best, I think it would be nice to remind them that over the past 4 days while they have been arguing, somewhere in the ballpark of 4,000 more homes have gone into foreclosure. These homes aren’t only assets and statistics. They are people. They are our friends, and neighbors, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. These aren’t people asking for a handout, because they got too greedy. They are the backbone of our communities, and they are counting on our government to help them when they need it most. Owning a home used to be the American Dream, but it is quickly becoming a myth of Horatio Alger proportions. It doesn’t have to be this way. Sometimes doing the right thing should come ahead of ideology and politics.