A nonprofit’s annual study of foreclosures in Cincinnati and Hamilton County found reason for homeowners to feel hopeful, as well as continuing cause for concern. The number of foreclosure sales in 2013 was down 17.5 percent. Twenty-four percent fewer foreclosure proceedings were initiated during the year.
According to an article examining foreclosure filings in Ohio, what began as a problem affecting mostly urban areas in the mid-1990s ballooned to crisis levels, with more than 70,000 new foreclosures filed in 2012.
The prospect of facing foreclosure and losing your home can be traumatic. This reality faces many, including the mayor of Akron, Ohio, who had to deal with the possibility of foreclosure on his former home recently. The foreclosure action was filed by Wells Fargo bank on the property jointly owned by Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and his former partner. Although his name was on the title, the mayor said he had no involvement with the property for four years. According to him, his ex-partner stopped paying the mortgage when she moved to Columbus, Ohio, unbeknownst to him. He claimed not to have received any notice from the bank.
In the past several months, some have heralded the fact that the foreclosure crisis is over. Having addressed abuses like overextended credit, wrongful evictions, and other practices that took the dream of homeownership away from many families, lenders seem to have changed the way they handle the foreclosure process. But, have these wrongful practices really disappeared? Or have they just shifted to another segment of the financial industry?
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.
In the wake of the housing market crash, mortgage lenders have gotten a bad reputation for improper and rushed foreclosures that violate the rights of homeowners. In a case that is currently before the Ohio Supreme Court, a bank has filed a foreclosure action against an Ohio couple before the bank even held the mortgage.
Foreclosure has been an overriding concern for many homeowners since the housing bubble burst in 2007. According to housing analyst data, Ohio has been listed as one of the states with the greatest percentage of deeply underwater foreclosures occurring. Fortunately, these foreclosures appeared to have been declining in December as we are seeing more homes described as being rich in equity. Hopefully this trend will continue.
After years of negotiations and press scrutiny, five of the nation's largest banks settled with both federal and state officials in early 2012. In their settlement, the banks assured officials and the American public that their widespread abuse of the foreclosure process was history not to be repeated ever again. Unfortunately, these promises remained intact for fewer than two years. The media has been reporting in recent months that flagrant abuses of the system and of homeowners are continuing unabated.
When mortgage debt becomes overwhelming, seeking a loan modification may be an excellent option for you and your family. Under certain circumstances, a well thought out and carefully constructed loan modification can help homeowners avoid foreclosure. However, as loan modifications become increasingly popular, scammers have opted to try and take advantage of vulnerable homeowners with increasing frequency.
When hardships occur, it can be comforting to know that other individuals have experienced the same hardship and have been able to move forward successfully in the aftermath. Since 2008, people all across the nation have struggled with financial challenges due to a sweeping financial crisis.