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Crisis In The Housing Market

Foreclosures Hit New High; Have You Been Affected?

A telling sign outside a home in Miami this summer. Joe Raedle/Getty hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty

Here's some gloomy news to wake up to:

"Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis." (The Associated Press)

The story, according to the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc., is that:

"Foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank reposessions — were reported on 338,836 properties in August, a 4 percent increase from the previous month but a 5 percent decrease from August 2009. One in every 381 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month."

RealtyTrac's report is posted here.

Bloomberg News adds that "bank repossessions climbed 25 percent from a year earlier to 95,364, the most since the Irvine, California-based data provider began keeping records in 2005."

The glimmer of not-quite-so-depressing news, Reuters says, is that "new default notices decreased at the same time, suggesting that lenders managed the flow of troubled loans and foreclosed properties hitting the market to limit price declines."

Still, the news service writes, RealtyTrac senior vice president Rick Sharga cautions that it will take about three years for the market to work through all the foreclosed homes out there. "I don't think it gets any better really until the end of 2013," he warns.

This has us wondering: