Cleveland savaged by tragedy of home foreclosures

CLEVELAND, Ohio, Aug 19, 2007 (AFP) – The US dream of home ownership is going up in smoke in Cleveland, now littered with broken promises and lost hopes as it tops the nation’s tragic roll call of foreclosures. In the first seven months of this year, there were 13,600 foreclosures in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County alone, compared to just 7,000 for the whole of 2006, and 3,400 in 1995, said county treasurer Jim Rokakis.

To date, at least 30 percent of the subprime mortgages in Cleveland have gone bad, Rokakis said, while nationally, some estimates place the current foreclosure rate at one out of every 130 homes.

In this area, there have not been so many sheriff’s sales since America’s Great Depression in the 1930s.

Rokakis said there are projections the crisis will surpass one trillion dollars, dwarfing the 300 billion dollars losses in the Saving and Loan crises of the last decade.

The fears over the risky US subprime mortgage market have triggered a global credit crunch playing havoc with Wall Street stock portfolios, and dragging down global markets, with more bruising upheavals feared to lie ahead.

Subprime loans are offered at high interest rates to Americans who have a poor credit r

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