Look to your left, then right. One of you is foreclosed.

I vividly remember during freshmen orientation at the University of North Carolina a few years ago (ahem, 28 to be exact) that the chancellor played the little game where he said to me and the other 5,000 or so assembled incoming freshmen, “Look to your left. Now look to your right. One of you won’t be here in three years.” It hit like a splash of cold water, given how your high-school teachers filled you with blather about how you were “the best and the brightest, the future yadda yadda yadda.”

I was reminded of that when I saw this report from Realtytrac earlier today on foreclosures. Maybe I’ve just missed it in the past, but this was the first time I’d seen a ranking of foreclosures as a percentage of all households. Seeing that Stockton, Calif. has 8,169 homes in foreclosure rolls right over me, but realizing that this means that ONE IN EVERY 27 HOUSEHOLDS is in foreclosure….wow. In Detroit, it’s 1 in 29, and in Las Vegas its 1 in 31. Even here in Atlanta, my current city, one out of every 54 homes is in foreclosure.

Brings it home. You can read the full report by clicking here.

P.S. Yahoo has an interesting feature that I play with from time to time. It shows how many homes in a particular zip code are in some stage of foreclosure. Type in a city or zip code, and it shows you all the homes in foreclosure, marked by little “push pins” for each home. While it doesn’t provide the exact street address—you have to pay for that information—you can pretty much tell the exact location, and perhaps figure it out by then driving around and looking for a “for sale” sign. In my zip code, there are 29 homes in foreclosure. Click here for this “foreclosure” feature at Yahoo.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.