Graph: States Hit Hardest By Foreclosure Spree

Which states are being hit the worst by the foreclosure spree? Here’s the top 10.

Source: Realtytrac, US Census.

As the housing bubble deflates, it’s time to collect on all those subprime loans. Note: Nevada is disproportionately represented here due to a sparse population, but California is definitely screwed.

Big sexy 50 state graph, inside…

troubledstatesbig2.jpgCheck out our data sets at Swivel, where we also made this graph.



Edit Your Comment

  1. Falconfire says:

    Funny last I looked at the flag we only had 50.

    (hint DC aint a state ;-) )

  2. ducksauce says:

    I’m surprised New York is so low… I thought real estate prices doubling would have ill effects about now.

  3. kingofmars says:


    Washington DC isn’t a state, but Washington is a state. Count the number of states on the graph again.

  4. Daytonna says:

    I bloddy hate statics, Not one mention of how the population in any of those states has changed, nor any mention of how population shifts are also driving those housing numbers.
    This is nothing but fearmongering.

  5. Carey Alexander says:


    The census data reflects the most recent population data available. Foreclosures primarily affect people with adjustable rate mortgages; while ARMs can be adjusted annually, they remain stable for an initial period that can last up to ten years. Though population shifts definitely affect housing stats, seven of the top ten states shown in the graph could easily be considered frost-belt states… and according to statistics, nobody moves to the frost-belt!

  6. Funny, local media here in Denver has been saying Colorado is number one.

  7. A large part of this comes from low income renters who were either suckered into loans they ultimately couldn’t afford, or to low income renters that took advantage of the system.

    In the first case, interest rates were low enough to creat mortgage payments on average lower than rent. Thus, many people took advantage of this low interest period to get into a house on an adjustable rate, like the article mentioned. The rest is history.

    However, there is another group of people that actively take advantage of the system. They get a house with an interest only loan that brings the payment down under rent, and in return they get to live in a brand new big house for however many years it takes for the bank to finally foreclose on it. When they can’t pull the wool over the bank’s eyes any longer, its deed in lieu of foreclosure, and now it’s the taxpayers’ problem, because the occupants just go back to an apartment.

  8. GenXCub says:

    And here I am about 3 months from buying a house in Nevada… ruh roh!

  9. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    See the cautionary tale of Casey Serin:

    Don’t lie on your loan apps, kids…

  10. ColoradoShark says:

    *Maybe* statistics are being perverted here. Hard to tell.

    First: What does “per population per capita” mean? If it just said “per capita” it would make sense.

    Second: This is a percent increase, not absolute numbers.

    Lets say State X has one foreclosure in 2005 and two foreclosures in 2006. This is a 100% increase. Meanwhile State Y has 100 foreclosures in 2005 and 101 foreclosures in 2006. This is a 1% increase. State X would look terrible on this chart and State Y would look great even though State Y has a bigger problem.

    Don’t let people boil all the data down to one statistic. They are probably trying to hoodwink you. You know, like Cingular has the least dropped calls.

  11. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    Crayonshinobi — I work with foreclosures all day long, and I’ve never seen your Case #2, with the evil poor people deliberately going down in flames for a few months of comfort.

    Most people who don’t have a lot of money aren’t exactly experts on loan rate-structures…but the banks, who are, and specifically unregulated brokers, of which there are many, have been giving these loans to people they know have no chance of making the payments after the introductory period passes. The brokers get their cut, the banks sell the loans early, and wham. (Banks love option ARMs because they get to report the full payment they would normally get as income, even when they’re only actually collecting a portion of it.) Also, people who walk on a mortgage often can’t get an apartment, even if they somehow come up with the money. Getting apartment takes credit too, you know.

    We are seeing people walk on mortgages around here, but it’s not for such happy reasons. Michigan is worse off than this chart expresses — we also have the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the country now, thanks to the loving community-orientedness of the fatcats at the Big Three. Over 80,000 jobs have been cut in the last few years, and more are coming. (Oh, and the State just arranged to help Ford get another 150 million in tax breaks…ain’t that sweet?)

    A lot of people who’ve lost their jobs here are taking their buyout or severance money and just leaving, not even bothering to try and sell their houses or pay on them. I can’t say as I blame them — you’ve got a family to feed, a terrible housing market, flooded job market, and a set amount of money to last you as long as you can make it. I’d pack up and get the hell out, too.

    Anyway. My $0.02. Thanks for the chart!

  12. zl9600 says:

    Isn’t ‘per capita’ taking care of the population differences?

    At any rate you have to take into account the fact that Nev is 35th most populous, but Colorado isn’t that much higher, at 24th.

  13. zl9600 says:

    bon jour, btw, the state media here in Colo. has been trumpeting the fact that Nevada has passed Colorado for a while now. It did not mention Mass.

    Not that it makes any difference, really, although Nevada, sheesh, that’s up there.

    Colorado’s problems have been blamed on the lack of regulation in the state’s mortgage industry, which have some wild mortgages offered to people to get them into houses they should not be getting into. The new statehouse and Dem governor is planning on tackling this in their first term.


  14. Ben Popken says:

    I’ve edited the graph based on some reader corrections.

    Washington, DC – deleted.
    Per population per capita -> per capita


  15. Mary, admittedly, my experience is 3 years old. I’m no longer in the R/E business. I suppose the 2nd case is rare. I wish I could find the article I read about this, but it was more than 3 years ago…sigh. I’ll take your word for it anyway! The somewhat predatory lending practices coupled with the attractive low interest rates undercutting rent is a volatile situation.

  16. walran says:

    Well, this is a trend that has money making all over it. Where there is a problem there is always opportunity to help others solve that problem and make some money.

    In Utah we have blended our home owner assistance with making a living.

    We even try to keep them in their home if humanly possible.

    I think that until we educate the public on responsible living we will continue to see foreclosure rates increase.