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Ohio foreclosure rates down, but not all good news

After several years of record-setting foreclosure rates in Ohio, the rates dropped in 2013 as compared to previous years, according to a news report. Even though that sounds like good news, Ohio does still rank fifth in the country in the rate of foreclosures.  In 2013, one of every 65 properties in Ohio was involved in the foreclosure process at one point or another.

Unfortunately, one reason for the drop in foreclosure numbers from 2012 to 2013 is that many homeowners who were underwater or unable to pay their mortgages lost their homes prior to 2013.

Many of the foreclosures in Ohio and across the country are the results of ill-advised or even fraudulent loans that were approved by mortgage lenders even when homebuyers could not produce proof of sufficient income. Those bad loans, combined with rising unemployment and other financial challenges linked to the recession, had little chance of being repaid. In the end, many consumers here in Ohio suffered financial challenges as a result.

It is important that consumers are aware that once the foreclosure process begins, borrowers may still have viable  options, including bankruptcy, to prevent the loss of their homes.

For those who are facing difficult economic times, whether due to job loss, medical issues, increasing debt, divorce, or other issues, seeking the advice of an attorney who has experience in bankruptcy and foreclosure matters may be the first step to prevent or stop foreclosure. Consulting a professional who is aware of the various options can be crucial in order for a homeowner to protect his or her rights.

Source: Hamilton Journal-News, “Butler County foreclosure rate plummets,” Chelsey Levingston, Jan. 16, 2014

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