The Wall Street Wrecking Ball: What Foreclosures are Costing

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) released a report entitled The Wall Street Wrecking Ball: What Foreclosures are Costing in September 2011, which includes the following summary in the San Francisco section of the report–

As Wall Street Banks continue to foreclose on neighborhoods, the costs to taxpayers add up

Wall Street banks shattered our economy and left our communities to pick up the pieces

While it was Wall Street’s toxic lending practices and recklessness that created the housing California homeowners and taxpayers that are paying the price. The housing market is where economic crisis began and without immediate action, we are facing a multi-billion dollar neighborhoods that is undermining the economic recovery we desperately need.

The Picture in California:

  • There have been 1.2 million foreclosures in the state since 2008, with the number expected to exceed 2 million by the end of 2012.1
  • California is the hardest hit of all fifty states, accounting for one in every five foreclosures in the US.2
  • The 2 million foreclosures expected through 2012 are estimated to cost homeowners, property taxes, and local governments $650 billion statewide.3
  • Almost a third of California homeowners with a mortgage owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.4

San Francisco by the Numbers:

  • Foreclosures harm all homeowners: Overall, San Francisco homeowners are estimated to lose $6.9 billion in home values as a direct result of the foreclosure crisis.
  • Foreclosures erode the property tax base and impact services for all: Property tax revenue losses are estimated to be $42 million in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.
  • Foreclosures cost local governments: The typical foreclosure costs local governments more than $19,229 for increased costs of safety inspections, police and fire calls, and trash removal, and maintenance. In San Francisco, theses costs are estimated to be $73.4 million.
  • Foreclosures undermine an economic recovery and cost jobs: San Francisco has 16,355 homeowners underwater by $1.5 billion. If banks wrote down those mortgages, it could pump $158 million into local economy and spur 2,349 jobs.

Top Banks Foreclosing on Californians:

  • Bank of America
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Citigroup


  1. RealtyTrac
  2. ibid
  3. Home Wreckers: How Wall St Foreclosures Are Devastating Communities. March 2011.
  4. CoreLogic press release. 07 Jun 2011.

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