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Green Bay, Wisc.
Foreclosure rate: One in every 56 homes
Percent increase: 127%
National rank: 77th
Unemployment rate: 7.3%

Green Bay has endured many of the economic setbacks suffered by other Midwestern communities. Layoffs have driven the unemployment rate to 7.3% from just 5.1% 12 months earlier. (Although that's still well below the national average of 9.4% that month.)

Derek Lord, the director of economic development for Brown County, said the area's main industry -- paper products -- has held up rather well. "You still have to blow your nose," he said.

What has hurt foreclosures there, he said, was that many homebuyers overextended themselves, buying a little more house than they could easily afford. Then, when the economy turned south, local employers cut back on hours for some workers.

That doesn't show up in the unemployment stats, but it can make the difference between retaining or losing your house.

Another factor that contributed to the foreclosure ramp-up was that another of small real estate investors failed during the year, according to Andy Rosendahl, the city's neighborhood development specialist.

"I noticed that a lot of these investors, who had put together six or eight properties for rentals, went into foreclosure this year, with all the properties hitting at once," he said.

It's not all gloom in Green Bay. Even though foreclosure filings more than doubled in 2009, the rate was still better than the United States as a whole and much better than some of the really hard-hit manufacturing cities.

NEXT: Brimingham, Ala.
Last updated February 01 2010: 3:46 PM ET
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