Atlanta foreclosures down, still high

Foreclosures continue to decline in metro Atlanta, yet the region remains one of the nation’s leaders in the category. During the 12 months ending in May, there were 14,340 completed foreclosures in metro Atlanta, the second-highest number among big U.S. metro areas behind only Tampa-St. Petersburg at 17,044, according to CoreLogic, a California-based real estate research firm. Metro Atlanta’s total was down from more than 20,000 completed foreclosures in the prior 12-month period, according to CoreLogic.

The region’s progress tracks the trend in the national housing market, where completed foreclosures fell 19.2 percent from a year earlier. Among states, Georgia had the sixth -highest number at 26,523 completed foreclosures. The top five were Florida (104,000), Michigan (46,000), Texas (33,000), California (28,000) and Ohio (27,000).

Foreclosures became an epidemic after the burst of the housing bubble in 2006-2007, a collapse followed by plunging prices and a financial crisis that led to a devastating recession – which in further undermined housing.

A flood of foreclosures followed, virtually destroying the market for housing in many areas. Home values in many parts of metro Atlanta have yet to return to pre-recession levels. But as foreclosures recede, the market can build momentum. “With three million jobs created during the past year, the improving labor market has helped more borrowers stay current on their mortgage loan,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Because fewer loans are becoming seriously delinquent, the foreclosure inventory has come down to its lowest level in more than seven years, with only 1.3 percent of loans in foreclosure proceedings.” In metro Atlanta, 3.4 percent of mortgages are in serious delinquency, vs. 4.4 percent a year ago, according to CoreLogic.

Down but not OUT!

Georgia lags in foreclosure help

Georgia lags in foreclosure help

State says it will meet goal of aiding at-risk homeowners.

By Dan Chapman dchapman@ajc.com 

   Georgia, given $340 million in federal money three years ago to help at-risk homeowners, has spent only a quarter of the money, according to a newly released Inspector General’s report critical of the state’s efforts to ease the foreclosure crisis.   Only Indiana and Alabama have dispensed proportionately less.   About 5,900 Georgians fewer than one-third the number initially estimated have received assistance intended to save homes and neighborhoods.

   “It’s very concerning that we’re more than half way through the program and the funds will have go back to the Treasury if not used by 2017,” said Kristen Tullos, an attorney with Atlanta Legal Aid Society, which assists homeowners facing foreclosure. “We are not on track at this point.”   But the state Department of Community Affairs, which administers the so-called “hardest hit fund,” said this week that Georgia will meet its foreclosure target.  “We’ve turned the corner, and we’re definitely on track to spend all the funds by Dec. 31, 2017,” said Brenda McGee, the program’s director. The Great Recession killed hundreds of thousands of Georgia jobs and left homeowners unable to pay mortgages. Nearly a quarter million metro Atlanta households plunged into foreclosure since 2006. neighborhoods primarily across the region’s southern tier, as well as in Gwinnett County, deteriorated as vandalism, blight and weeds took root. 2010 was the foreclosure nadir across metro Atlanta with 93,000 foreclosure notices.   As the economy improved, and unemployment dropped, foreclosures plummeted. Metro Atlanta should see fewer than 20,000 foreclosures this year as the region returns to pre-recession levels of housing distress. But the scars to communities and homeowners — remain. And Georgia maintains the nation’s highest unemployment rate.

Continue reading

CFPB Training for Counselors, September 15, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

You are invited to attend a training held by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the new mortgage servicing rules.  The training is scheduled for:

DATE: September 15, 2014 (Monday)

TIME: 1:00 – 5:00 PM (Registration begins at 12:30 PM)

LOCATION: Georgia State Bar (3rd floor conference room), 104 Marietta St NW (Suite 100) Atlanta, GA 30303

Please RSVP (with full name, email, and organization/affiliation) to David Pope via email at david.pope@cfpb.gov

This in-person training for housing counselors and attorneys will explore the new mortgage servicing rules that became effective 01/10/2014.  The rules will affect the rights of your clients and how mortgage servicers are supervised for compliance.  Specific topics of discussion will include borrowers’ loss mitigation rights, foreclosure prohibitions, requests for information and notices of error and the CFPB online complaint system and supervision processes.  Counselors and attorneys will also have the opportunity to share their experiences with Cathy Mansfield and Gerry Sachs from the CFPB.

Please use these resources to better understand the new mortgage servicing rules.

  • Guide for Housing Counselors: This guideis designed to be a quick reference for housing counselors and attorneys.
  • Mortgage Tips: The CFPB is providing a number of different tips on new rights under the new rules for homebuyersand homeowners at every stage of the mortgage process— from taking out a loan to paying it back. The tips also include recommendations for troubled borrowers facing foreclosure.
  • Answers to Consumer Questions: The Bureau has published mortgage-related questionsto AskCFPB, an interactive online tool designed to answer consumers’ most frequently asked questions in plain language.
  • Consumer Tools: The Bureau’s website offers a toolto help consumers find local housing counseling agencies to answer their questions or address their concerns. Consumers that have an issue with consumer financial products or services, such as a mortgage, can also submit a complaint.
  • Factsheets on the Rules: The CFPB has published factsheetwith an overview of all of the new consumer protections in the Bureau’s mortgage rules. The CFPB has also published a summary of the new procedures to facilitate borrowers’ access to foreclosure avoidance options.

These materials can be found at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/mortgage. The Bureau will continue to develop and produce materials to educate consumers about the new mortgage protections.

###