High home foreclosures signal Ohio's bigger economic issues



COLUMBUS (AP) -- Ohio again leads the nation in home foreclosures, an indicator of how the state's lag in adding jobs is leading people to have trouble paying their bills, economists say.
Besides joblessness and high gasoline prices, high interest rates are squeezing consumers who face high credit card debt and increasing house payments if their mortgage has an adjustable rate.
About 3.3 percent of Ohio homes and small apartment buildings were in foreclosure in October through December, the highest rate of any state and three times the national rate of 1.1 percent, said a study by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Ohio's rate has been higher than the national average for every quarter since the end of 1998.
New foreclosure filings in Ohio increased by 1 percent in the third quarter of 2006 from the second quarter.

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