News / Economy

Analysts: Foreclosure Mess Hurts US, Global Economy

Foreclosure Mess Hurts US, Global Economyi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
July 06, 2012 11:18 PM
The U.S. housing sector usually leads the rest of the economy out of recession. But that is happening much more slowly than usual in the wake of the latest downturn. That is because the housing industry is burdened by a huge number of bad loans that have caused a financial, bureaucratic, and economic mess. As VOA's Jim Randle reports, problems in the U.S. housing sector are slowing the economic recovery in the world's largest economy, and elsewhere.
Foreclosure Mess Hurts US, Global Economy
WASHINGTON — The U.S. housing sector usually leads the rest of the economy out of recession.  But that is happening much more slowly than usual in the wake of the latest downturn.  That is because the housing industry is burdened by a huge number of bad loans that have caused a financial, bureaucratic, and economic mess. Problems in the U.S. housing sector are slowing the economic recovery in the world's largest economy, and elsewhere.

Deborah Harris faces possible eviction from the home she has owned for the past 17 years, after failing to make some of her mortgage payments.

Harris was a paramedic with Washington's fire department.

"Here you are about to lose your home.  It's nowhere else to go.  I don't have any husband, I don't have any children.  I've worked 23 years in the Fire Department, saving lives, keeping people alive, and here I am retired, and I don’t have a place to stay. Come on.  I mean, that's ridiculous," Harris said.

Harris won awards and promotions for her service on an ambulance, but stopped working after she was hurt carrying a large patient.  

It took many months of doctor's exams and filing paperwork to convince officials she was entitled to a pension. During that period without pay, she fell behind on her mortgage.  

The financial crisis that started in 2007 brought rising unemployment, falling home values and surging foreclossures.  

Foreclosure specialty firm RealtyTrac says foreclosures soared to more than one million a year at the peak of the crisis, from about 200,000 in an average year.

A slightly better economy has cut the foreclosure rate, but it will probably still hit about 700,000 this year.  

The chief economist from the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, says the flood of foreclosures hurts the U.S. economy, which cuts demand for products from other nations and slows global growth.    

"Foreclosure is the predominant reason for why the housing market is taking a long time to recover," Yun said. "Historically, the housing market always leads the economy, so when housing market goes down, the economy goes into a recession.   When (the) housing market recovers, economy comes out of recession."

Harris says falling into foreclosure has been a nightmare. "If it had not been for God to help me, I know I could have just gotten a stroke and died, because it was just so devastating, knowing, I didn't know when they were going to come and try to get me out of here," she said.

Harris is just one of 4.3 million people who have gone all the way through the foreclosure process since the beginning of the financial crisis.  But with help from a community group and a lawyer, she is fighting the foreclosure in court.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8012
JPY
USD
117.52
GBP
USD
0.6346
CAD
USD
1.1249
INR
USD
61.875

Rates may not be current.