BY MICHAEL TOLMICH WSJ SAN FRANCISCO — In this March 14, 2016 file photo, a homeowner’s gas canister burns during a fire in the parking lot of an apartment building in downtown Sacramento, Calif.
As foreclosure rates soar, people are leaving their homes in droves and leaving their money on the curb, forcing many businesses to shut down or foreclose, according to an analysis by a financial services firm.
In some states, the rate of foreclosures has surged above 10% in the past two years, forcing homeowners to pay large sums of money for property that was previously valued at less than the median value, according a new study by a firm that tracks foreclosing behavior.
“If the economy starts to go south, it can create a lot of problems for the economy,” said Robyn Smith, a managing director at Aptis Equity Research who has studied the impact of foreclosure on the economy.
Foreclosure is the biggest problem facing Americans today, with the average household losing $1,400 in monthly income, according the National Association of Realtors.
The average foreclosed home value is $1.5 million.
The rise in forecloses in recent years has driven the value of the housing market to record lows, with foreclosers increasingly pulling back on payments, reducing credit lines and closing their homes.
The foreclosure crisis has been especially hard on homeowners, many of whom were unable to afford to pay for their mortgages.
In some cases, homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure for a variety of reasons, including low income, bankruptcy or foreclosure for failing to pay back mortgages or late payments on loans.
Millions of people have lost a home, according in a recent report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
That figure includes those who lost their jobs.
Renters and the elderly are among the hardest hit.
About 15% of people with student loan debt owe more than 30% of their disposable income on student loans, according data compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In the past decade, more than 50 million Americans have defaulted on their student loans.
The number of defaults on student loan loans jumped to more than 9 million in 2016.
More than 50% of households with credit cards and nearly 40% of those with mortgages are either underwater or underwater for their credit card balances, according Datafolks, an industry research firm.
In 2017, more Americans than ever have defaulting on credit cards, according Bankrate.com.
The average amount of debt borrowers owed on their credit cards increased to nearly $1 million, according Toobin & Bock.
The median amount for borrowers is about $300,000, according BMO Capital Markets.
Borrowers are more likely to have loans that they owe money on, said Joe Cress, director of research at the National Consumer Law Center, a consumer advocacy group.
Many borrowers default on their mortgages because they can’t afford the interest rate.
They default on mortgages because it is easier to pay off a debt than make a payment on it, said Cress.
The percentage of people who defaulted in 2016 on their mortgage was higher than the percentage of those who default on credit card debt.
The share of people making monthly payments on their loan rose from 17% in 2011 to 19% in 2016, according Mortgage Banker.
People are not just defaulting.
They are taking on debt, according Smith.
It is a huge burden on families.
In recent years, people have been losing money as a result of foreclosed homes and businesses closing.
In March, a company called First-Wave Foreclosure Services closed the doors of a warehouse in West Sacramento.
The company said it lost $3.6 million in its first year.
The company is a subsidiary of First- Wave, which is based in Kansas City, Missouri.
The warehouse was leased to a group of companies that were trying to save money on their properties.
“We had a lot to lose,” First-Wise Foreclosure said in a statement.
First-Wave said the warehouse was a prime location for warehouse sales.
In an email to the San Francisco Chronicle, the company said the decision to close was driven by the economic downturn and the cost of labor.
After the warehouse closed, First-wave’s business grew by 25%, the company added.
More than 1,300 First-World businesses have closed over the past year in the Bay Area alone, according The Economic Policy Institute.