Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ohio's 2006 Foreclosure Rates Jump 24% in One Year

The stats are "in" for 2006 on foreclosures and they are not going to make you happy. Depending on whether or not you use the measure of the Mortgage Bankers Assn. (which says we are first in foreclosures for 2006) or RealtyTrac (which says Ohio is 8th), the rise in precentages is mind blowing. The number of new cases rose 24% in one year. Policy Matters released their figures this week and in Cuyahoga County alone, there were 13,610 new foreclosures.

I was alerted to this in an article on Cleveland.com, written by Plain Dealer reporter Thomas Ott. I blogged before about the NeighborWorks program, and this article talks about a case involving Adjustable Rate (ARM) mortgages. A few years ago, while interest rates were about 5.5% on the National Level, people were getting ARMs for 10-14% interest rates.

Cuyahoga County Commissioners Dimora, Hagan and Jones issued a report (in pdf here) based on calls, meetings, public meetings and discussions. It's worth a read.

Folks, all I can say is, please contact one of these programs before it gets to the critical stage! It only takes about three months of missed payments for things to spiral out of control. And I have to say again, if the only way you can buy a home is to pay 13% interest rates when the going rate is 6.06)% (as of today), please wait until you can qualify for a much lower rate. The County Program is called 'Don't Borrow Trouble,' and if you have any inkling that you might have difficulty making your payments in the future, even for a few months, please call them at: 216-436-2000. There is also a United Way hot line and you can reach it by simply dialing 211.

Other relevant posts:
Professor Kathleen Engel discusses predatory lending
What to Look Out For: Avoid Predatory Lending

March 28th Follow Up: PD Reporter Ott has a very interesting follow up article you can read on Cleveland.com. It deals with a law proposed in Ohio to require lenders who foreclose on homes to file their deeds - maybe I am naive, I didn't know this was not required! I know Title technically does not transfer to new owners until the title is filed at the Court house...at least for us 'regular' people. This is a great article dealing with the thorny issue Cleveland has had to deal with, tracking down owners of long abandoned buildings, collecting taxes, etc.

Peace Out - 3C