Unemployment Causes More Foreclosures

January 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Unemployment Causes More Foreclosures

High Levels of Unemployment Deepen the Foreclosure Crisis

The foreclosure crisis continues to get worse as a slow job market forces many homeowners into the worst financial situation of their lives.

In cities like Seattle, Houston and Chicago, who seemed to be dealing with the foreclosure bust quite well, are now having a more difficult time keeping up with their mortgage payments.  Many have already seen their homes repossessed by lenders.

All told, foreclosure activity jumped in 149 of the country’s 206 largest metropolitan areas last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

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Unemployment has been the main cause of foreclosures, rather than the time-bomb mortgages resetting to higher payments.

Just to show you a quick example of what I am talking about:

The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area in Texas saw its foreclosure rate jump 26 percent from 2009, the largest increase among the top 20 biggest metro areas, the firm said.

Still, foreclosure activity in many of the metro areas in these states actually declined last year.

Three California metro areas posted among the biggest annual drops in foreclosure activity: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, down 20 percent; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, down 17 percent; and, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, down 16 percent.

A large reason for the reasonable decline is that lenders took steps to delay foreclosure actions in these states as they sought to manage the flow of troubled properties coming onto their books. In the closing months of last year, several lenders went further, temporarily halting foreclosure activity to deal with allegations of improper evictions.

Currently many of the banks have resumed their foreclosure activity, and have begun taking action once again.  The pace of foreclosures is expected to pick up this year and most definitely outpace the rate of foreclosures from 2010.

We will most likely see the values of homes plummet even more so this next year.  More borrowers will be in negative equity this year, forcing more foreclosures.

About 2.4 million U.S. homeowners have only 5 percent or less equity in their homes, according to data from CoreLogic.

Lenders took back 1 million properties in 2010, and no metro area saw more homes repossessed by lenders than Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale in Arizona.

Some 55,372 properties were taken back by lenders there last year, up 17 percent from the year before.

The Chicago metro area was second, followed by the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro area in Michigan. Its home repossessions rose 19 percent.

Housing Assist Coldwellbanker