The blistering pace of foreclosures this year will top 2010, when a record 1 million homes were lost, RealtyTrac said Thursday.
One in every 45 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing last year, a record 2.9 million of them. That's up 1.67 percent from 2009.
On Thursday, Freddie Mac reported that fixed mortgage rates dipped this week for the second straight time, extending a sliver of hope for some home owners. .
The average rate on the 30-year mortgage dropped to 4.71 percent from 4.77 percent the previous week. The rate on the 15-year loan, a popular refinance choice, slipped to 4.08 percent from 4.13 percent.
But both are a half-point higher than the lows they reached in November. The 30-year loan rate hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent and the 15-year mortgage rate fell to 3.57 percent, the lowest level on records starting in 1991.
The dip has led more borrowers to apply for a refinance, but would-be buyers remain hesitant, according to Wednesday's mortgage indexes from the Mortgage Bankers Association. It will take more than low mortgage rates to jumpstart a housing market plagued by high unemployment, falling prices, tighter credit standards.
The glut of foreclosures has compounded the problem and while the pace moderated in the final months of 2010, that isn't expected to last.