Andrew Sullivan posts a great interactive graph of foreclosures. What jumps out to me is how much the state you live in matters: state policies matter. I have no idea what state policies are in play here (my only experience with state housing policy is some work I did on title insurance - and I don't think that's involved here), but it's clear that they matter. Sometimes you have foreclosure in specific urban areas, but look at how Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, etc. jump out at you. The bursts in foreclosures follow the state border. There's no obvious reason why that would be the case except for differences in state policy.