Over 13% of American homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments or are in the foreclosure process. To break it down, 4% of all homeowners nationally are in foreclosure and 9% are delinquent on at least one payment, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Out of all the foreclosures in the nation, 44% are concentrated in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.

The most ominous factor in this foreclosure data: delinquencies increased among borrowers with prime, fixed-rate loans between the first and second quarters of 2009 in every state.

first tuesday take: The financial crisis started with foreclosures on the most vulnerable in our society: those tenants lured by current lending policies into homeownership with adjustable-rate subprime loans. As in any recession, foreclosures eventually plough into the middle class and the wealthy as they begin to run out of cash reserves, creating the current evolving condition of the housing market.

The collapse of the housing market (January – March 2006) cascaded into the collapse of the job market three years later (January – March 2009). [see first tuesday chart “Nonfarm Payroll Employment by California Area”]

Homeowners and tenants need jobs to stay homeowners and tenants. Without jobs, they are not able to remain in their shelter. Jobs will continue to be lost in California well into mid-2010, and then take four to six years to return to peak employment attained in November of 2007.  It will likely be 2013 before real estate sales volume becomes stable, supported by the purchasing power of buyer-occupants and tenants, which only jobs can sustain. However, the abhorred speculator could interfere with that goal.

Re: “Mortgage delinquencies hit record high in Q2,” from the San Francisco Chronicle