Thursday, May 25, 2006

Defaults Grow Because Of 'Flattening' Market

The Sentinel and Enterprise have this update on counties in Massachusetts. "The rate of foreclosure filings in Worcester County in the past year far surpasses the previous 12 months' pace, according to a report released Wednesday. Nearly 1,900 foreclosures were filed countywide between May 1, 2005, and April 30, a 36 percent increase from the number of foreclosures that happened during the same time period the previous year."

"The foreclosure rate is accelerating because of a flattening real-estate market, sub-prime lending practices and rising energy costs, analysts said Wednesday. 'I think a lot of homeowners have been squeezed because of higher energy prices this winter and interest rates moving upwards,' Jeremy Shapiro said. 'A lot of homeowners find themselves unable to foot a bill and find themselves in trouble.'"

"A total of 728 foreclosures have been filed countywide since the start of the year, compared to 1,300 that were filed during all of 2004. There have been 56 foreclosures in Fitchburg in the past 90 days, and 22 in Leominster over the same time period."

"Thomas J. Gray of Workers' Credit Union, said Wednesday the real-estate market pushes the foreclosure rate upwards because endangered homeowners cannot pay off a mortgage by quickly selling a property like they could two years ago. 'Now that the market's slower, much slower, that option isn't working as much,' he said. 'People aren't able to sell their property and get out of a bad situation.'"


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