Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More States Join In Race To The Bottom

Foreclosure reports from around the US. "Michigan's slumping economy has waylaid most industries. But it's boom time for the field mortgage service business. The crush is not hard to explain. Home foreclosures are soaring throughout Metro Detroit and Michigan amid high unemployment, overtime cutbacks and budget-busting bills for everything from gasoline to groceries. Wayne County ended January with more than 3,300 homes in active foreclosure, the highest of any county in the nation."

"In Oakland and Macomb counties, and across the state, active foreclosures have doubled in the past two years. In a sign of the broad reach of economic hardship in Metro Detroit, Farmer and Malone are more and more frequently assigned cases in upscale neighborhoods. 'We've been to $3 million homes in Bloomfield Hills,' Malone says. 'We've been to homes by the lakes. We've been to houses in new developments where new homes are still being built on the same street. It is crazy how busy we are.'"

"It's a No. 1 distiction Texas would rather not have, but the state is now leading the nation in foreclosures. Industry analysts say rising interest rates and skyrocketing monthly payments on adjustable rate mortgages are to blame. Some say the problem is worse in Texas because a foreclosure can happen in just 27 days. It takes longer in some other states."

"Ohio's foreclosure picture turned dimmer in February as the number of properties entering some stage of foreclosure rose 19 percent from January, a monitor of foreclosures reported Wednesday. 9,873 properties in the state entered foreclosure in February, one new foreclosure for every 484 households."

"The highest rate in the nation for the month was posted by Georgia, which saw 9,421 properties enter some stage of foreclosure, a 28 percent increase from January and more than twice the number of new foreclosures from February 2005. At one foreclosure for every 329 households in February, Georgia recorded the highest foreclosure rate for the second consecutive month. Joining Ohio and Georgia among the top five states with the greatest number of properties entering or in foreclosure during that month were Texas (13,616), Michigan (10,343) and Florida (10,019)."

"Living in the Rust Belt seems to be squeezing Hoosier homeowners in a very uncomfortable way. Layoffs and bankruptcies are forcing Indiana’s home foreclosure rate to an alarming height. During the last quarter of 2005, lenders opened foreclosure proceedings against 7,575 Hoosier homeowners, almost 1 percent of the total mortgages in the state."

"Indiana’s abominable foreclosure rate is caused by job losses, personal bankruptcies, stagnant home prices and aggressive lending practices. Mike Cevarr, spokesman for the Mortgage Bankers Association. But overly aggressive lending and the slow appreciation of home values in Indiana are also culprits."


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