Column: John Birdwood

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On May 15, online property marketplace RealtyTrac recorded that 19,691 properties in Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit, for most purposes) were in foreclosure. The lender was in possession and offering the properties for sale at the outstanding loan value. The number of such properties has climbed steadily this year but few sales have been made.

Elsewhere in the country the cycle has moved on from foreclosure to auction. In San Diego an auction of nearly 100 foreclosed homes saw prices 30% belo

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