House Hunters

By tallying the nation's foreclosures, a California company defines the housing bust

PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY RYAN SCHUDE

Sharga, Keane and Saccacio track housing woes

In the midst of a housing crisis, you might think it would be easy to find out how many homes are being lost to foreclosure. It's not always simple. County courthouses usually keep those records, and the logistics of counting can be onerous.

So if you want to know numbers, there's a good chance you will turn to RealtyTrac, a company in Irvine, Calif., that, thanks to its nationwide network of records collectors, has emerged as a go-to source for foreclosure data. Congress calls RealtyTrac. So do Wall Street analysts. The U.S. Treasury, the FDIC, the FBI, a handful of Federal...

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