At least 2.7 million homes nationwide have been lost to foreclosure during the past five years, and more than 3 million more are at serious risk of being lost as well, according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Responsible Lending and Center for Community Capital at UNC Chapel Hill.
"The findings ... suggest that we are not even halfway through the foreclosure crisis, as millions of additional families are still at risk of losing their home," say researchers, who examined race, ethnicity and income of borrowers to see who has lost their home and who is still at risk.
More than 42 million people took out a mortgage loan between 2004 and 2008, the time period analyzed by researchers. As of February of this year, nearly 6.5 percent or borrowers had lost their home to foreclosure.
The homeowners that have been affected the most are white families with middle- and higher-incomes, researchers found. But minority homeowners are more than twice as likely to lose their home as white households, according to the report, "Lost Ground, 2011: Disparities in Mortgage Lending and Foreclosures."
Researchers found that one-quarter of Latino and African-American borrowers have lost their homes to foreclosure or are seriously delinquent, compared to just under 12 percent for white borrowers.
The racial difference in foreclosure rates can't be explained by income differences, the researchers say. For example, 10 percent of higher-income African-American borrowers and 15 percent of higher-income Latino borrowers have lost their homes to foreclosure, compared with 4.6 percent of higher-income non-Hispanic white borrowers.
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