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News State / Region N.C. breaks foreclosure record in 2010

About 1 in 63 housing units in N.C. were in foreclosure for the year

North Carolina broke the state foreclosure filing record in 2010. And according to a recently released analysis by the N.C. Justice Center, approximately one in every 63 housing units in North Carolina faced foreclosure filings last year.

For the first time, county-by-county data tracking foreclosures relative to a county’s housing units are now available.

Using U.S. Census data about each North Carolina county’s housing units combined with state foreclosure filings, the Justice Center found that Mecklenburg and Union counties were worst off. During 2010, about one in 34 housing units in those counties were in foreclosure.

These figures do reflect a slight overestimate, said NC Justice Center Director of Communications Jeff Shaw, because the foreclosure filings also include some commercial foreclosures in addition to home foreclosures.

But the figures also actually underestimate the number of North Carolina’s working families affected, because many apartment buildings and multi-family units were foreclosed on during 2010.

“Now is the time for our leaders to support vital public investments that create jobs and help people stay in their homes,” said Bill Rowe, director of advocacy for the NC Justice Center. “We need to make critical investments in North Carolina’s future prosperity, like preserving essential programs that help homeowners avoid foreclosure.”

North Carolina’s proactive measures to prevent foreclosure have helped it stay ahead of places like Nevada, where one in 11 homes is in foreclosure, and the nation at large, where one in 45 homes received a foreclosure filing last year.

Besides tracking total foreclosures and foreclosures by housing unit, the spreadsheet also has foreclosure data per capita. These figures determine which counties have the most foreclosures relative to population size.

The per capita figures understate the problem considerably, said Shaw, because the per capita figures include everyone living in a given county – including children and non-homeowners. Still, it provides additional confirmation of how widespread foreclosure is throughout North Carolina.

Mecklenburg, Union and Brunswick counties are the only three counties in North Carolina to appear on all three lists (total foreclosures, foreclosures by housing unit, and foreclosures per capita).


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