More than 2,300 Rhode Island households, home to more than 5,000 people, have been forced by foreclosing financial institutions to move, according to a new report. Using court eviction records, the report finds that three institutions, Deutsche Bank, US Bank, and Wells Fargo were collectively responsible for 47% of the evictions that were filed in the state in 2008. Government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together accounted for another 10% of all recorded evictions.
The report also finds that about half of all foreclosure related evictions occurred in census tracts that where at least 50% of the residents were racial minorities according to the 2000 census. Based on last names, the report also estimates that 31% of those evicted were Latinos, while Latinos comprise just 11% of the state’s population. By matching foreclosure eviction addresses to recent lists of blighted and abandoned properties, the report concludes there is significant overlap between where the evictions occurred and vacant and abandoned properties.
Most recent reports on foreclosure evictions have inferred an eviction based on foreclosure notices, perhaps overestimating the number of households displaced. This report breaks new ground by looking at actual eviction notices, though as the report notes, this may lead to an underestimate as many evictions occur outside the formal court process. The study does not explicitly differentiate between renters and owners.
The report by Rhode Island Legal Services, Moving Out Rhode Island, can be found at http://www.rihomeless.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Public/Eviction%20Report.pdf.