Squatters: 4.4 Million and Counting

Apr. 25, 2010 5:46 AM ET79 Comments
Charles A. Smith profile picture
Charles A. Smith

The above table from the FDIC and Foresight Analytics reveals the steady climb in the number of people living in their homes but not paying for them. The data, which go back 9 quarters (and include an estimate for the first quarter of 2010), show that 14% of the approximately 52 million residential mortgages outstanding in the U.S. were delinquent in the first quarter. This amounts to 7.3 million mortgages. Only 5.5% were on nonaccrual status, however. This amounts to 2.9 million mortgages.

Nonaccrual means the lender is no longer posting income on the loan. Depending on the length of time the loan has failed to accrue, foreclosure proceedings may have already begun (with eviction to follow at some point), but not necessarily.

Assuming that all loans on nonaccrual status represent vacant properties, it means at least 4.4 million (7.3 - 2.9 = 4.4) are occupied by people who are not paying for them, for whatever reason. This number has increased by 3 million since the end of 2007.

Disclosure: No positions

This article was written by

Charles A. Smith profile picture
Charlie Smith – Retired Principal and Chief Investment Officer of Fort Pitt Capital Group. Charlie is a graduate of Penn State University and lives in Marshall Township, PA.

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