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2010-01-14 12:49:23
Video - On the Brink of Foreclosure?

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: The Ramifications and Trade-offs

Watch this 5 minute video to learn what things to consider if foreclosure is in your foreseeable future. Below is an article from the Salt Lake Tribune discussing where Utah ranks in the nation in foreclosure filings.

If you or someone you know needs to discuss loan modification and/or short sale options, call us TODAY at 801-858-3070 or toll free at 1-866-532-9202.

Utah is 5th-highest In Foreclosure Filings

A record 2.8 million U.S. homeowners -- 1 in 34 households in Utah -- were threatened with foreclosure last year, and that number is expected to rise this year as more unemployed and cash-strapped homeowners fall behind on their mortgages.

The number of households receiving a foreclosure-related notice rose 21 percent from 2008, RealtyTrac Inc. reported. One in 45 homes nationally was sent a filing, which includes default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossession, which don't always lead to full foreclosure.

In Utah, 27,140 homeowners received a filing, the fifth-highest rate among all states. Only Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California came in higher. Rounding out the top 10 were Idaho, at No. 6, followed by Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, and Colorado.

'Economically, Utah's ranking makes sense,' said Mark Knold, chief economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Knold said Utah's real estate bubble burst in 2007, about two years later than much of the rest of the country. That means that while housing markets in some other states were at their worst in 2008 and early 2009, the hardest times for Utah's housing sector probably will be 2009 and 2010. 'It hit us later, and we're adjusting later,' he said.

Knold said Utah could be near the top of state rankings for foreclosure filings through this year, but 'I wouldn't expect to see Utah to be so high on the list about this time next year.'

Arresting the tide of foreclosure filings will be important if the nation's real estate market and the economy are to fully recover. Because foreclosed homes are usually sold at heavy discounts, they can lower the value of surrounding properties. Cities lose property tax dollars when homes are empty, and declining home values strain local economies in other ways. Home prices have stabilized in some cities, but are still down 30 percent nationally from mid-2006.

The foreclosure crisis isn't letting up. Three million to 3.5 million homes are expected to enter some phase of foreclosure this year, said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac, which began tracking the data five years ago.

High rates of lost homes forced the federal government and several states to develop plans to prevent or delay foreclosures to help troubled borrowers. 'It was bad, but it could have been much worse, and it probably should have been worse,' Sharga said.

One plan intended to help homeowners is the Obama administration's loan modification program known as Making Home Affordable. Lenders participating in the program have offered trial loan modifications to 760,000 eligible borrowers since it was launched in March. A loan modification changes the terms of the loan, such as lowering the interest rate, to make the monthly payments more affordable.

As of November, just 31,000 of them had been made permanent. Nearly the same number had dropped out of the program or were found to be ineligible. The Treasury Department will release updated figures Friday.

Economic issues, such as unemployment or reduced income, are expected to be the main catalysts for foreclosures this year. Homeowners with good credit who took out conventional, fixed-rate loans are the fastest growing group of foreclosures.

Article from the SL Tribune 01/14/10

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