The Other Ferguson Story: The Foreclosure Crisis
While the city of Ferguson, Mo. continues to dominate the news with violent clashes between protesters and the police, there is another news story in Ferguson that is not being viewed with the same level of media scrutiny: An abnormally high number of foreclosures.
According to data released by RealtyTrac, the number of residential properties in Ferguson that were seriously underwater in the second quarter was more than three times higher than the national percentage and more than twice the level for the entire state of Missouri. During the second quarter, 42.9 percent of all Ferguson properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater. In comparison, the national level was 13.3 percent and the Missouri state level was 17.5 percent.
If there is any bright spot, it would be that some progress was made in Ferguson’s foreclosure picture over the past 12 months: 50 percent of all properties with a mortgage in Ferguson were seriously underwater as of the second quarter in 2014. And in the second quarter of this year, 7.5 percent of all Ferguson-based mortgages were equity rich, which is up one percentage point from the previous year, but far below the 19.6 percent national level and 13.1 percent Missouri level.
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