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As unemployment rises and home values plummet, more and more American families are finding it harder to keep up with their mortgage payments. Foreclosures have soared 30% since last year, and the market has yet to show signs of recovery.

But what has become a nightmare for many homeowners also presents an opportunity for first-time homebuyers and bargain seekers. In some areas of the country, homes in foreclosure are selling for up to 50% less than they were previously valued. If you’ve got the means, now is the time to shop. Check out these buys from foreclosure-heavy towns, cities, and regions:
By Louis Jones

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