Out of alternatives, foreclosure victims turn to homeless shelters

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Increasing numbers of American foreclosure victims are seeking refuge in homeless shelters. In the past, foreclosure has played only a small role in creating homelessness, with the majority of victims having been low-income renters who were evicted on short notice when their landlords defaulted. But according to a new survey, 10 percent of homeless people seeking the aid of social service agencies in the last year had lost homes to foreclosure. That number was even higher in areas hit hardest by unemployment and the subprime mortgage bust, like the Midwest. A growing number of these people were homeowners, not renters. With their credit severely damaged, renting new homes or apartments is virtually impossible, and renting out motel rooms is financially unsustainable.

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