(CBS) This is where the tragedy of foreclosures turns into new hope: 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning in New York City. CBS News
correspondent Anthony Mason reports more than 1,000 bidders signed in for a foreclosure auction, looking to buy a house at 50 or 60 cents on the dollar.
Carolina Madero has her eye on a house in New Rochelle.
“It’s a very nice house,” she said.
After seeing an ad for the auction, Madero, who is single and works for Mastercard, toured the
house in a New York suburb. It’s valued at $500,000, and her limit is $300,000.
“Even though it makes me nervous, I think I could not miss it,” said Madero about the auction.
Like Madero, most of the bidders plan to live in the houses. Two hundred are up for sale. One sells nearly every two
“It’s I basically a clearance sale,” said Rob Friedman, the chairman of the Real Estate Disposition Corporation (REDC).
Business for the REDC is booming.
“There’s a lot more foreclosures than there’s ever been,” Friedman said.
The auction company holds sales like this almost every day somewhere in the country. Last year the company sold more than 30,000
foreclosed properties. This year, they expect to sell 50,000.
When Madero’s lot came up, she jumped in. Quickly the bidding went over her $300,000 limit. But then it stalled at $305,000.
“What in the world are we waiting for, folks?” asked the auctioneer.
Suddenly, Madero threw up her hand again, with the winning bid.
“I’m excited. I’m nervous, too,” Madero said. “But I’m excited.”
She called her friends and signed the papers. In minutes, a causality of the housing crisis had become a bargain for its new
owner. – Copyright 2009 (CBS)