MEDIA RELEASE: County data: North Carolina to break foreclosure record this month

New analysis breaks down highest counties in both total foreclosures and foreclosures per capita; Mecklenburg, New Hanover and Brunswick counties make both lists


RALEIGH (Nov. 8) -- North Carolina will break last year’s foreclosure filing record later this month, according to a data analysis released today by the NC Justice Center.


“These projections show that, now more than ever, we have to protect homeowners by preserving the Housing Trust Fund and supporting effective, common-sense anti-foreclosure programs,” said Bill Rowe, director of advocacy with the NC Justice Center.


The Justice Center analysis breaks down both total foreclosures in North Carolina by county and -- for the first time -- per capita foreclosure data organized by county. A list of the top 10 counties in each category is included with this news release.


This year, North Carolina is on pace for 70,476 total foreclosure filings, far outpacing 2009’s previous record of 63,286. Based on filings through the third quarter of this year, North Carolina projects to break last year’s foreclosure record on Nov. 23 of this year.


Mecklenburg County far outpaces every other county in total foreclosure filings with 8,785 so far in 2010. If that pace continues, it will reach 11,713 total foreclosures.


The per capita foreclosure rates are equally unkind to Mecklenburg. Mecklenburg, New Hanover, and Brunswick are the three counties that make the top 10 in both categories. Cabarrus County is 11th on both lists.


Dare County has topped the per capita foreclosure list for two years running. The extremely high rate of foreclosure (3 percent in 2009, 2.76 percent in 2010) is nearly double that of second place Brunswick County.


The per capita figures understate the problem considerably, said NC Justice Center Communications Director Jeff Shaw because the per capita figures include everyone living in a given county – including children and non-homeowners. Still, it provides a thumbnail sketch of how widespread foreclosure is throughout North Carolina.


"Foreclosures continue to cause significant damage to low and moderate income neighborhoods,” said Chris Estes, Executive Director of the NC Housing Coalition. “The solution is more investment by all levels of government in quality affordable rental housing that will create construction jobs and stabilize households in a quality home they can afford.”


This will require more investment at the state and federal level, said Estes, and more support by local governments to ensure that these new developments get built in desirable locations.


“This would provide positive living options for working families and persons with disability,” said Estes, “so they can live with dignity and opportunity."


The analysis comes from foreclosure filings through the third quarter of this year, projected out to the end of 2010 and compared to population figures in all of North Carolina’s counties.


An Excel spreadsheet with data for every North Carolina county -- dating back to 2000 and updated through Sep. 30, 2010 -- is available to reporters upon request.




Mecklenburg (11,713)

Wake (5,800)

Guilford (4,360)

Forsyth (2,532)

Union (2,132)

New Hanover (1,979)

Durham (1,900)

Gaston (1,828)

Brunswick (1,801)

Cumberland (1,698)





Dare (2.76 percent of individuals)

Brunswick (1.63)

Currituck (1.45)

Mecklenburg (1.29)

Clay (1.16)

Cherokee (1.13)

Union (1.06)

Pender (1.05)

New Hanover (1.01)

Jackson (.97)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, 503.551.3615,; Bill Rowe, Director of Advocacy, NC Justice Center, 919.856.2177,; Chris Estes, NC Housing Coalition, 919.881.0707.