Arrests in Baltimore for illegal guns often lead to dropped charges or little jail time

Report: 1 in 11 Maryland children directly affected by foreclosure

More than 100,000 Maryland children whose families got mortgages in the middle part of the last decade have lost their family home to foreclosure or were dangerously close to it as of last year, according to a new report.

That's one out of every 11 children in the state, which ties Maryland for the sixth-highest share nationwide.

The study, from the child-centered group First Focus in Washington, looked at the swath foreclosure has cut through families across the country. Nevada children were the most likely to have a family home lost to foreclosure or with a delinquent mortgage.

Here are the top 10, according to First Focus, with the percent of affected children:

1. Nevada (19 percent)

2. Florida (15 percent)

3. Arizona (14 percent)

4. California (12 percent)

5. Michigan (10 percent)

6. (tie) Illinois (9 percent)

6. (tie) Maryland (9 percent -- 39,000 children who had lost their family home and 73,000 more whose parents were at least 60 days behind on the mortgage as of February 2011)

6. (tie) Rhode Island (9 percent)

9. (tie) Colorado (8 percent)

9. (tie) Georgia (8 percent)

These percentages are undercounts, though. The tally of children affected by foreclosure only includes those whose families took out mortgages between 2004 and 2008.

That leaves out the families in trouble with older or newer loans, and families kicked out of homes they were renting after the landlord went into foreclosure, First Focus notes.

Landlord foreclosure has buffeted a lot of renters in Baltimore. Here's a story about the problem from 2009, and an earlier one from 2008. (Last I checked, tenants calling a state hot line looking for help in this situation overwhelmingly said they weren't behind on the rent.)

First Focus did estimate the nationwide number of children whose families lost or were at risk of losing rented homes to nationwide -- 3 million. That's compared with 5.3 million children in homes their parents own but are in danger of losing, or have already lost.

"Many of these families are pushed into homelessness, or are continually at-risk for homelessness," a related group, First Focus Campaign for Children, said in policy recommendations released with the report. "Even for those families who find a new, permanent home after foreclosure, it is a stressful experience and children of these families face instability and often have to switch neighborhoods and schools."

The suggestions include more assistance for homeless children and more affordable housing.

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