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From Bad To Worse: Nevada Foreclosures Only Half Way Done

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Nearly 1 in 7 Nevadans who bought homes between 2004 and 2008 are at least 60 days behind in their mortgage payments or entering foreclosure, according to a new report. That's almost the same amount that have already been foreclosed on, meaning the state may only be halfway through its housing crisis.

What's more, only Florida has a higher share of mortgages that are "seriously delinquent" or in foreclosure, meaning Nevada's unfortunate status as ground zero for the issue may last a while.

Due to the complex relationship between underwater and foreclosed homes and unemployment, this issue goes beyond homeownership itself and is a drag on the overall economy.

The report, "Lost Ground, 2011," was prepared by the Center for Responsible Lending. It includes state-by-state analyses of mortgages taken on during the height of the nation's real estate boom and not only looks at their current status, but breaks them down by race, ethnicity and income.

It concludes that "the nation is not even halfway through the foreclosure crisis," considering that 2.7 million homes have been foreclosed on, but 4 million more are inches from the same end.
In that sense, Nevada is like the rest of the nation; the difference is in the share of mortgages.

According to the report's interactive map, the top five states in their share of mortgages at risk of foreclosure, are Florida, with 17.4%; Nevada with 13.4%; New York with 9.8%; New Jersey with 9.7%; and Mississippi with 9.6%.

The map allows you to see where the problem might be heading, which isn't necessarily where it's been in all cases, as with Michigan, which has been near the top until now, but may fall into the middle in the near future. Nevada has led the nation in foreclosures for some time, so that may remain the case.

Other findings include:

- middle- to upper middle class homeowners are more affected by the housing crisis in boom areas like the Las Vegas Valley; and
- Hispanics and blacks, particularly the former, are more likely to fall behind in payments and face foreclosure.

The center also makes a series of policy recommendations aimed at regulating the mortgage industry and protecting consumers. It seems these ideas may be lost in the months leading up to the elections, as debt and jobs fight for the spotlight and members of Congress fight each other.

Timothy Pratt writes from Las Vegas, Nevada. This story was originally published in his blog, Back to Work. If you would like to contribute as a citizen journalist to The Huffington Post's coverage of American political life, please contact us at www.offthebus.org.

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