The Fed reports a decline in mortgage debt and increase in household net worth, but economists say stock market declines mean Americans' improved financial condition last quarter is fragile.
The US has 1.8 million units of 'shadow inventory' – distressed properties likely to hit the housing market. New Jersey tops the list, with Illinois, Florida, and California also among the most at-risk. The data, part of a new report, show both improvement and remaining problems.
Underwater mortgages rose to 23 percent at the end of 2010. In Nevade, underwater mortgages account for roughly two-thirds of home loans.
Mortgage lending fraud peaked in 2006, fell to a low in early 2009, and now has rebounded by more than 20 percent, CoreLogic says.
Home prices edged higher at the height of the summer home-buying season, but analysts see a dropoff in the fall.
Foreclosures may come down as the jobs market improves, but the share of home loans in serious trouble remains elevated.
It's still a good time to buy. The end of tax credits and foreclosures will help keep home prices down.