1 in 10 Homeowners Were Behind on Payments or Risking Foreclosure in First Quarter

Washington, D.C.–Almost 1 in 10 U.S. homeowners faced foreclosure or defaulted on their payments in the first three months of 2008, according to a Washington, D.C.-based Mortgage Bankers Association report released Thursday.The January to March quarter was the worst for homeowners in a quarter-century. The rate of new foreclosures and late payments reached the highest level since 1979, according to the New York Times.The statistics indicated that–although mortgage problems were most severe for homeowners with subprime loans–issues existed in multiple levels of the mortgage sector. Even borrowers with good credit now have been affected.In addition, four states that have shown some of the most dramatic price reductions during the housing decline–Arizona, Florida, California and Nevada–comprised 39 percent of the foreclosures.