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Reply #33: Georgia foreclosures jump 99%; rate is nation's 3rd highest [View All]

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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-06-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #23
33. Georgia foreclosures jump 99%; rate is nation's 3rd highest
http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/20...
Homeowners feel pain as climbing adjustable mortgage rates bite back

By MICHAEL E. KANELL
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 12/06/06

Hundreds of Georgians lost their homes Tuesday.

The houses, taken from debt-laden homeowners, were sold to bidders on courthouse steps statewide.
John Spink/Staff

(ENLARGE)
Investors crowd the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse on Foreclosure Day the first Tuesday of every month to bid on homes repossessed by mortgage lenders. One in every 449 households in Georgia faces foreclosure proceedings.

TOP TEN
States with highest foreclosure rates, Oct. 2006:
1) Colorado
2) Nevada
3) Georgia
4) Michigan
5) Illinois
6) Florida
7) Ohio
8) Tennessee
9) New Jersey
10) Utah
Source: RealtyTrac

RELATED
Q&A on home foreclosures
2006 Metro Home Sales Report
Find a home at ajchomefinder.com

The increasingly busy monthly auctions show that not all of the residential market is in decline.

Foreclosures are rising.

More than 115,000 properties across the country were in the foreclosure process in October up 42 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac, a California company that tracks foreclosures.

Foreclosures in Georgia are up a stunning 99 percent in the past year.

The state now has the nation's third-highest rate of foreclosures: One in every 449 households. In October, that meant 6,895 properties were in the foreclosure process.

Not all changed hands. Some homeowners came up with the needed payments; others couldn't afford the whole debt but lenders agreed to a delay while they worked out a payment plan. Still, hundreds were auctioned.

The taking of homes generally because the owner hasn't been making mortgage payments has always been brisk here because state laws are written for speed. Georgia is one of three states in which lenders can foreclose on houses in as few as 37 days.

Foreclosures ramped up in recent months as once-low introductory interest rates on adjustable mortgages edged up, making monthly payments unaffordable for some homeowners.

Qualified borrowers several years ago could get mortgages with rates below 4 percent, but at the end of the starter period, those rates could adjusted skyward by 2 or 3 percentage points. That would add more than $300 a month to a mortgage of $250,000.

"We really haven't had any letup," said Ralph Goldberg, a Decatur attorney whose clients include many distressed homeowners. "We know, toward the end of the month, people are going to be coming in. The Friday and Monday before Foreclosure Day are always busy."

/more...
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