NEW YORK – The bleakest year in foreclosure crisis has only just begun.
Lenders are poised to take back more homes this year than any other since the U.S. housing meltdown began in 2006. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and more will miss payments as they struggle with job losses and loans worth more than their home’s value, industry analysts forecast.

“2011 is going to be the peak,” said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc.

he outlook comes after banks repossessed more than 1 million homes in 2010, RealtyTrac said Thursday. That marked the highest annual tally of properties lost to foreclosure on records dating back to 2005.

One in 45 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing last year, or a record high of 2.9 million homes. That’s up 1.67 percent from 2009.

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