If you have read, seen or heard the news lately about the real estate market in the Atlanta, you may be inclined to think we are out of the woods when it comes to the glut of foreclosures we have seen over the past five years. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Don't get me wrong -- we are on the way back and things are looking better than they were even six months ago, but we are far from done with the foreclosures that have been main cause of our home values declining.
What you may not realize is that one in 376 homes in Georgia received a foreclosure notice in July of 2012. Yes, that is right. The national foreclosure notice rate was one for every 686. That puts Georgia at almost twice the national average. But you need to remember these are the homes that have RECEIVED a foreclosure notice. There are still thousands of our friends and neighbors that are way behind on their mortgage and in dire need of help or they can and very well will be next.
Here is the really scary part of all this. Open your front door and look up and down the street and count 11 homes. After you do that, then realize that one of those 11 homes is currently behind on their mortgage and needs help now or they may be the next foreclosure that you see.
What can you or I do to help? This is a hard question but one that needs to be addressed. Losing a home is one of the worst things that can happen to a family. The stress is tremendous as well as the financial credit hit that is taken when a home is foreclosed on.
Just this past week, I called a neighbor of mine again who I knew was falling behind on his mortgage. After letting him know his home was to be foreclosed (his house showed up in a public record database), he finally took my call. I asked him why he had not asked for help or returned by previous calls and he said he was too overwhelmed and embarrassed to ask for help. I explained to him that I was not calling to get him to allow me to help him sell his home but to merely see what help he needed getting out of the situation he was in. There are options other than doing what is called a pre-foreclosure sale or what we hear as a "Short Sale." Hopefully we are not too late to assist him, but if he had just picked up the phone and asked there were numerous options available to him.
I read recently that foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions -- were reported on 191,925 U.S. properties in July, a decrease of 3 percent from the previous month and a decrease of 10 percent from July 2011. The report also shows one in every 686 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month. “U.S. foreclosure activity continued its uneven descent in July as the overall numbers declined on an annual basis for the 22nd straight month, but properties starting the foreclosure process increased on an annual basis for the third straight month,” said Daren Blomquist, Vice President of RealtyTrac.
If you or someone you know is behind on their mortgage please find a way to ask for help. Call me or someone who is QUALIFIED to assist them with answering questions about solutions to their challenges. This does not always mean selling their home before foreclosure. There are other alternatives. Pre-foreclosure sales are a great way to save credit scores but not the only option. Call or ask for help. If not me, call someone. Take the pride you have and swallow it for five minutes and make the call.
We have set up a confidential website that can answer questions for anyone who needs some guidance. If you or someone you know needs to get some answers please take a look at Prevent Atlanta Foreclosure and if you still have questions fill out the from and we will be in touch with you.
Matt Hermes is ranked in the top 10 percent Internationally within Keller Williams Realty and is honored to hold the CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) certification. Stay in touch with us on Facebook!