Current Events – Foreclosure Rates Continue To Rise
Everyone needs a place to call home but that is becoming more of a problem as foreclosures continue to skyrocket with no immediate relief in sight.
According to CCNMoney.com, “U.S. foreclosure filings spiked by more than 81% in 2008… and they’re up 225% compared with 2006.” In spite of the efforts of the foreclosure prevention programs put on by government and the banking industry, defaults continued to climb right through to the end of December 2008.
In addition to soaring foreclosure rates, housing prices continue their downward spiral. Declining prices mean that many homeowners owe more on their homes than the homes are worth on paper. This inequity increases the likelihood that these homeowners will default on their loan.
As you can see, foreclosures and falling home prices go hand in hand. As a matter of fact, foreclosed homes tend to sell at a steep discount compared to the rest of the market. This means that when foreclosed homes make up a large percentage of all home sales, they can exaggerate the intensity of price declines. Therefore, an influx of more bank-owned homes in an already slow housing market will continue to push the prices down even further and increase the possibility of more foreclosures.
S&Ps chief economist, David Wyss, expects home prices to continue to go down, finally bottoming out in early 2010 at roughly 33% below their 2006 peak. This could mean that more than 860,000 families will lose their homes to foreclosure in the upcoming year.
This is tragic news for homeowners that are barely making ends meet and a possible premonition of things to come for those who have already missed one mortgage payment.
There are no quick fixes to this huge economic issue but if you are a homeowner who is having financial difficulties you should contact your mortgage holder now and try to work out a realistic plan for you. There may be the potential to re-mortgage your home at a lower rate or the possibility to skip one monthly payment per year. The key is to contact your financial institution before there are no other alternatives to foreclosure.