Shadow Housing and ForeclosureGate: Banks Are Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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The inventory of homes held by financial institutions in Florida and across the country was labeled by writer Carla Fried for CBSMoneyWatch last week as one of the main reasons for the housing market to be in a much more serious condition than many realize. In her article entitled, "Why the Housing Market is Three Times Worse Than You Think," Ms. Fried discusses the Shadow Housing Inventory currently held by banks but not officially up for sale. It's bad news.

Held in Limbo: the Shadow Housing Inventory

According to the CBSMoneyWatch article, which relies in part on information from CoreLogic, almost 2,000,000 homes (1.8 million is the estimate) are sitting on bank books in some kind of limbo. These are properties that have been foreclosed upon already, as well as those that are somewhere in the legal process of being foreclosed upon, or home loans where the mortgage has gone at least three months without a mortgage payment, but the bank hasn't started the foreclosure paperwork yet. None of them are up for sale. They're just sitting there, on the bank's balance sheets in various categories.

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