Todd Lappin recently visited Modesto, a central California city that was hit hard by the mortgage bubble. He posted his photos and comments on his blog, Telstar Logistics.
A city of more than 210,000 people located about 90 miles east of San Francisco, Modesto had the nation's third-highest home foreclosure rate during the third quarter of 2010 (just behind Las Vegas, Nevada and Cape Coral/Fort Meyers, Florida).
In practical terms, that means 1 in 36 homes in Modesto is in foreclosure, and as we discovered, the evidence of this is visible from street level.
"We're going to be near the top of the foreclosure list for a long time," Bob Johnson from Direct Appraisals in Modesto told us. "The majority of the foreclosures here are people who used home equity loans to buy cars and other things. Banks often try to help out with loan modifications, but that doesn't really help, so people just walk away. Bottom line is, people here say they just won't pay mortgages that are worth more than the value of the property."