Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Foreclosure Roundup



There were a number of submissions to the Foreclosure Central roundup. I can only assume that most people were tied up with taxes, as very few of the submissions had anything at all to do with foreclosure.

The most insightful blog author regarding foreclosure was Andrea Dickson at Wise Bread. In her article "How to Avoid Foreclosure" she gives homeowners who might be facing foreclosure some real tools and steps to follow.

I also like that Andrea touches on the community impact of foreclosures, stating "At least 4 properties (all rentals, all owned by the same person) on my street alone are being auctioned off within the next month, and that kind of activity is going to affect my property values..." Scary stuff.

Each state's foreclosure process is somewhat different. To see an overview of each state's foreclosure process, go to Foreclosure Basics - By State.

Meanwhile, as more investors shift from residential to the more stable commercial side, Craig S. Higdon at Investment Property Insider explains some basics with Commercial Real Estate Credit, and urges potential investors to "Weigh your risks carefully"

Subprime mortgages and foreclosure statistics continue to dominate real estate-related news stories.

Nationwide, CNN Money shows that foreclosures are up 7% from March to February of 2007, a whopping 47% increase from last year at this time.

For the third straight month, Nevada leads the nation in foreclosures. Las Vegas has the second-highest foreclosure rate among cities monitored by RealtyTrac. The article reports that "Nevada reported 4,738 foreclosure filings, more than triple the number in March 2006. Its foreclosure rate showed 1 filing for every 183 households, more than four times the national rate of 1 per 775 households"

More bad news for Florida. RealtyTrac says that Florida ranks second in the nation for foreclosures with an increase of 33% from February to March of 2007.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Foreclosures, default notices hit 10-year high. "The number of California homeowners who defaulted on their mortgage payments jumped to its highest level in almost 10 years, exacerbated by slowing home sales and adjustable-mortgage resets."

But Washington State's real estate market remains strong. The Seattle Times shows Foreclosures in state fall, bucking national trend, while the Atlanta Business Chronicle points to a bounce in that state's foreclosure rates as well.

Financial Services Chariman Barney Frank is calling for a quick pass of legislation that would set national protections for all mortgage borrowers and clearer disclosure statements.

Thankfully, not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon for a legislative bailout. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Go slow on foreclosures, Congress told. "Federal regulators and mortgage lenders this morning warned congressional lawmakers against moving too aggressively to regulate the mortgage industry in response to a soaring number of home foreclosures."

Senator Chris Dodd was one of the earliest and most vocal proponents of legislating the nation out of the subprime debacle. Today it seems he has made a quick about-face. He is quoted as saying "I'm not overly anxious to legislate," he said. "We think there may be enough laws on the books."

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are developing new types of loans to help distressed borrowers with high-risk mortgages, including a possible 40-year mortgage.

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