Foreclosure rates now reaching pre-meltdown levels
U.S. housing market getting back to normal
After years of disruption and many families losing their homes, it appears that things are finally getting back to normal in the U.S. Today, the number of homes lost to foreclosure is returning to levels not seen before the housing meltdown. Notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions during the first quarter fell 23 percent from a year earlier, the lowest level since the second quarter of 2007.
Many states are still struggling with a backlog of foreclosures like Florida, Illinois and Georgia, all states where courts oversee the foreclosure process.
"We're getting back to normal and will be there by next year," vice president at RealtyTrac Daren Blomquist says.
Homeowners have begun to seek alternatives such as short sales, in which they sell their home for less than what they owe. The bank then agrees to forgive the difference.
The deals are preferred by the banks over foreclosures and have less of a negative impact on a consumer's credit score. Thanks to a healthier housing market, the need to turn to short sales is dwindling.
The Home Affordable Modification Program and Home Affordable Refinance Program have helped millions of borrowers avoid foreclosure. Under a $25 billion settlement deal with state and federal officials last spring, the nation's largest mortgage lenders agreed to help struggling borrowers by lowering their mortgage rates, reducing their principal and other fixes.
Blomquist says that the current landscape of foreclosures is starting to look a lot like it did in the pre-bust years.
Foreclosures continue to occur. A larger percentage of the nation's foreclosure activity is occurring in areas suffering from severe economic problems, such as "Rust Belt" cities like Rockford, Ill. and Chicago. This is in contrast when foreclosures were rife in recently-developed, mid-to-upper class neighborhoods of California, Florida and Arizona that were among the hardest hit when the housing bubble burst.
Many of the victims of foreclosure are now dealing with a layoff or personal issue, such as a divorce, illness or death in the family. People were forced to default due to plunging home prices and unaffordable mortgage terms.
Many states are still struggling with a backlog of foreclosures like Florida, Illinois and Georgia, all states where courts oversee the foreclosure process. Florida had more than twice as many bank repossessions as any other state in March -- nearly 7,600. Illinois, with more than 3,500, was second and Georgia, with 3,350, was third.
Blomquist says that the number of short sales should continue to fall, along with foreclosures.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Business & Economics News
- $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 sends global debt over $100 trillion
- Wowza! Restaurant starts charging diners for Obamacare
- Time banking - where time is BETTER than MONEY
- Google tops Exxon as world's second-most valuable company - for a day
- Bill Gates thinks poverty will be eliminated by 2035... But he's missing this one thing!
- World's richest playboys forgot to address the world's most serious problems between parties in Davos
- CROWDFUNDING: Brother, can you spare - funding for my new movie project?
- Here we go again! Increase the government's borrowing limit before late February, Treasury Secretary warns
- Pope Francis sends a message to Davos elites -- they'd do well to listen
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
Disclaimer: The columns, articles, advertisers claims and any other features provided on Catholic Online Business & Economics are provided for personal finance and investment information and are not to be construed as investment advice. Under no circumstances does the information in this content represent a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. The views and opinions expressed in an article or column are the author's own and not necessarily those of Catholic Online and there is no implied endorsement by Catholic Online of any advice or trading strategy.