Realty Trac just release the foreclosure numbers for December at 349,519; a 15% increase month over month. The year end total finished at 3,957,643.
The CEO of Realty Trac released a statement saying, "as bad as the 2009 numbers are, they probably would have been worse if not for legislative and industry-related delays in processing delinquent loans."
This means that banks are keeping foreclosures off the market in order to avoid the losses on their balance sheet.
Market observers feel that this avalanche of shadow inventory will not have any impact on the housing recovery. They assume that the laws of supply and demand will stop working for the first time in history.