For a number of years now, the total rate of foreclosure activity across the country has been declining. Such decreases suggest that fewer Americans are facing foreclosures, and that the number of abandoned homes due to the foreclosure crisis has been dropping. However, according to a recent article in National Mortgage News, new data suggests that foreclosure starts have been on the rise in some parts of the country. Indeed, as the article states, “foreclosure starts in April increased over the previous year in 99 of 219 metro areas.”
Total Foreclosure Activity Declining, but Rate of Foreclosure Starts Could be Cause for Concern
Total foreclosure activity has dropped. The rate of foreclosure activity in April 2018 represented a 17% decrease in foreclosure activity from April 2017. Foreclosure activity is a measure that includes foreclosure starts, second notices of foreclosure, and homes becoming owned by the bank. The average rate of foreclosure activity across the country as of last month was one for every 2,089 homes or housing units. Yet major urban areas have been seeing a rise in foreclosure starts.
What is a foreclosure start? The article explains that it is “measured as the first notice the borrower received from the servicer.” In other words, a foreclosure start refers to the beginning of a foreclosure proceeding. When foreclosure starts are on the rise, it is an indication that more homeowners are having trouble making monthly mortgage payments and could risk losing their homes without foreclosure defense help.
Chicago currently ranks in third place for borrowers who are currently underwater. To be clear, Chicago has the third-highest rate of underwater homeowners in the country. The effective negative equity rate in the city is higher than 34%, and approximately 20% of homeowners in Chicagoland owe 200% or more of their home’s current value. That means more than 250,000 homes are currently underwater in the state.
Foreclosure Activity and Buying Foreclosures
In addition to rising rates of foreclosure starts in some places, the article also notes that the figures cited are averages; this means that foreclosure activity on the whole declined at varying rates across the country, and in fact increased in some parts of the U.S. Indeed, “total foreclosure activity increased compared with April 2017 in 24% of the markets tracked.” In other words, while total foreclosure activity is declining in some places, it is actually rising in others.
All foreclosure activity is not necessarily a bad thing. When foreclosures finally are completed, they no longer are impacting neighborhoods and are no longer affecting a city’s foreclosure statistics. If you are thinking about buying a home, should you invest in a foreclosure? A recent article in Forbes suggests that buying a foreclosure can be complicated. If you are thinking about investing in a foreclosure, you should always be pricing out the cost of necessary renovations and talk to other people in the neighborhood about the property and the area before you buy.
Speak with an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
If you have questions about foreclosures in general or need help with foreclosure defense, an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can speak with you today. Contact the Emerson Law Firm for more information.
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