More foreclosures on the way in 2012?

While many might hope for economic progress during 2012, some are suggesting that another wave of foreclosures will hit during 2012:

In 2011, the “robo-signing” scandal, in which foreclosure documents were signed without properly reviewing individual cases, prompted banks to hold back on new foreclosures pending a settlement.

Five major banks eventually struck that settlement with 49 U.S. states in February. Signs are growing the pace of foreclosures is picking up again, something housing experts predict will again weigh on home prices before any sustained recovery can occur…

Online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac estimated that while foreclosures dropped slightly nationwide in February from January and from February 2011, they rose in 21 states and jumped sharply in cities like Tampa (64 percent), Chicago (43 percent) and Miami (53 percent).

One big difference to the early years of the housing crisis, which was dominated by Americans saddled with the most toxic subprime products — with high interest rates where banks asked for no money down or no proof of income — is that today it’s mostly Americans with ordinary mortgages whose ability to meet payment have been hit by the hard economic times…

Is this the final wave?

If it is primarily “hardworking, everyday Americans” who bear the brunt of the 2012 foreclosures, will the coverage of foreclosures and the proposed remedies change? In previous years, it has been easy for some to suggest that those who made and accepted subprime mortgages deserved what they had coming as they extended their credit and debt too far. If this year’s foreclosures are now occurring to people who didn’t overextend themselves yet still fell prey to the economic crisis, will the narrative change?

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