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Foreclosures aren’t just for subprime buyers anymore

chron.com
Foreclosures aren’t just for subprime buyers anymore - Foreclosures - Buyers - United States


Chuck Dayton put down a quarter of the $950,000 purchase price when he bought his house in Newport Beach, Calif., in 2004. He was making $500,000 a year with his drywall company and he expected home values to keep rising.



Then the mortgage market collapsed, new construction stopped and builders no longer needed his services. Dayton, 43, went into default four months ago because he couldn’t afford payments on the three-bedroom home, located within a block of the Pacific Ocean. He hopes his lender will agree to sell the seven-year-old house for less than he owes to avoid a foreclosure.

“It’s just wait and see right now,” Dayton said.

Borrowers such as Dayton, whose 2004 compensation was almost 10 times the median U.S. household income, are becoming trapped by the same issue facing the poorest subprime homeowners: falling home prices erase equity and make it impossible to sell or refinance without losing money.

The number of U.S. homes valued at more than $729,750, the jumbo-loan limit in the most affluent areas, entering the foreclosure process jumped 127 percent during the first 10 weeks of this year from the same period of 2008, data compiled by RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, Calif., show. The rate rose 72 percent for homes valued at less than $417,000 and 78 percent for all homes, RealtyTrac said.


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