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Spike In Foreclosures, Bank Borrowings


Housing mess far from over.

Foreclosure filings continue to rise, suggesting that the market turmoil created by the housing mess is far from over.

Foreclosure filings about doubled in the second quarter from the same period a year ago.

Falling house prices have left many borrowers owning more on their mortgage than the property is now worth. This makes it impossible for home owners to negotiate better terms or sell the house without tossing some money in the pot.

In short, many people are stuck.

California and Nevada are the hardest hit, followed by Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Massachusetts and Illinois.

48 states and 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas reported year-over-year increases in the number of foreclosure filings in the second quarter, RealtyTrac reports.

Meanwhile, commercial banks increased their borrowing in the last week from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending program. But Wall Street's investment banks didn't tap the money.

The Fed says commercial banks averaged $16.4 billion in daily borrowing this week, up from $13.9 billion the previous week. The names of the banks weren't released.

Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) may be unintentionally driving down prices in already depressed markets, racing banks to the bottom.

This almost certainly means a bumpy ride ahead for bank stocks. Keep an eye on Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC) JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wachovia (WB).

A bill passed by the House and now in the Senate is intended to help 400,000 homeowners with subprime loans refinance with 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages backed by Uncle Sam. President Bush says he'll sign the measure into law.
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