2010 sets US home foreclosure record
By Andre Damon
The government continues to LIE about the depth of the economic
crisis in the United States. [Please see our article,
"Work Provides No Escape from
The extent to which the government is lying is easily discernable in the
on-going foreclosure crisis. [Please see our article,
What all this misery is doing is setting up Christians – who for
the most part have been able to successfully "have their cake and eat it too"
(i.e. been able to live contrary to Christ's word, "You cannot serve Mammon
and God too") - for the appearance of "Another" who is coming and will promise
them economic salvation, just as Hitler did for the German people in the 1930s.
US home foreclosures hit a new record in 2010, as millions
of families faced a disastrous combination of joblessness, falling wages,
and plunging home values. The latest foreclosure figures by Realtytrac.com,
come amidst a bout of negative economic statistics that underscore the depth
of the social crisis.
Approximately 2.8 million properties had foreclosure actions
taken against them in 2010, about 1 in 45 US households in all and an increase
of 2 percent over 2009. The number of properties repossessed by banks jumped
14 percent, to over one million.
The new record comes in spite of an 11 percent curtailment
of foreclosure filings and evictions in the fourth quarter. This short-term
decline resulted from voluntary moratoriums put in place by some banks after
it came to light that mortgage lenders were systematically falsifying documentation
in order to speed Americans out of their homes. In the immediate aftermath
of the scandal the government ruled out any punishment or investigation of
the banks, and foreclosure processing accelerated.
say the worst is yet to come. "The 2010 numbers came out significantly lower than we expected
as a result of the mortgage documentation scandal," said Daren Blomquist,
director of marketing communications for Realtytrac, in a telephone interview.
"But those foreclosures which were halted—about a quarter million—will simply
be pushed to next year."
Realtytrac was already projecting record levels of foreclosures
next year before the mortgage scandal, and now estimates that foreclosure
levels could be between 10 percent and 20 percent higher in 2011 than in 2010.
The government has done nothing to help homeowners. The government's
Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which was tacked onto the bank
bailout for publicity, has provided permanent mortgage modifications to only
a tiny fraction of those in need.
The congressional oversight panel for the bank bailout pointed
out last month that the program "will prevent only 700,000 foreclosures—far
fewer than the three to four million foreclosures that Treasury initially
aimed to stop, and vastly fewer than the eight to 13 million foreclosures
expected by 2012."
Moreover, the plan does not entail any reduction to the principal
owed by homeowners; it merely adjusts monthly payments. In this it is fundamentally
no different from actions taken by the banks on their own behalf in order
to reduce losses on foreclosures.
The foreclosure crisis is relentlessly driving down the value
of homes, the major source of wealth for most US families.
Zillow.com, the online real estate database, announced this
week that its index of home values fell for the 53rd consecutive month in
November, and that home values have fallen 26 percent since June 2006. "That's
more than the 25.9 percent decline in the Depression-era years between 1928
and 1933," wrote Katie Curnutte, the site's PR Manager, in a blog post.
The Case-Shiller index, which tracks prices in 20 major cities,
has fallen even more, showing a remarkable 30 percent drop over the same
The deepening foreclosure crisis and the ongoing collapse of
the US housing market is being driven by mass joblessness
and a far-reaching assault on wages.
is the number one reason people lose their homes," Blomquist noted. "As long as unemployment
remains high, foreclosures will remain a persistent problem."
This week's initial jobless claims report offered no relief.
The number of first-time benefit seekers grew by 35,000, to 445,000, the
second consecutive weekly increase and the largest number since late October.
There has been no statistically significant improvement in jobless claims
in the past year, with the present level being essentially unchanged from
the 456,000 claims reported on January 2, 2010.
The weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department also reversed
the much-touted improvement in the figure seen in December.
The jobs situation supposedly improved that month, as the
unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent (a decline largely attributable
to shrinkage of the workforce due to long-term unemployment),
non-farm payrolls crept up by 100,000 (less than the number
needed to keep pace with growth in the labor force), and jobless
claims fell three weeks in a row. [Please see our article, "A
Permanent 30% Unemployment Rate."]
The government seized on the December jobs report to proclaim
an economic recovery, noting in a speech the day after the release of the
December jobs figures that "each quarter was stronger than the last," and
that "the pace of hiring is picking up."
The past several days have seen a number of mass layoffs. Steelcase, the
office furniture company, announced that it will close three
North American Factories on January 12, putting hundreds out
of work. Lockheed Martin, the aircraft maker, said Thursday
that it will cut 250 jobs at a plant in Eagan, Minnesota, which
is slated for closure. [Please see our article, "Jobs
Flying Faster from US."]
Even more drastic are cuts planned for the public sector. The
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system in North Carolina announced this week
that it will cut 1,500 jobs as part of a budget-reduction program. The school
system plans to supplement the layoffs with school closures and the slashing
More cuts are on the way. States are facing combined budget
deficits of $140 billion for 2011. Costs have soared as a result of increased
joblessness and poverty, straining social infrastructure to the breaking point.
At the same time revenues have fallen by almost a third from their 2008 levels.
Despite the dire consequences posed by further cuts to state
spending, there will be no relief from the federal government. "We have no
expectation or intention to get involved in state and local finances," declared
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in testimony before congress Wednesday,
adding that states "should not expect loans from the Fed."
The financial elite, meanwhile, is demanding more spending
cuts to make up for the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street carried
out by the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury, and the latest round of tax
give-aways to the rich recently signed into law.
Moody's, the debt rating agency, said Thursday that the US
government faces a downgrade of its AAA debt rating if it does not take further
steps to cut social spending. "Future costs must be brought under control
if these countries are to maintain long-term stability in their debt-burden
credit metrics," the agency wrote in an email memo. [Translation: The government
must curtail any spending aimed at assisting average citizens.]
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