Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stemming forclosures

"For years after the housing bust and subsequent recession, efforts to stem the waves of foreclosures seemed futile. But now struggling homeowners are getting some help — from an improving economy and programs that are making their mortgages more affordable.

As a result, the foreclosure crisis in the state and the nation finally appears to be ebbing. In Massachusetts, foreclosure filings in the first nine months of the year plunged 60 percent from the same period in 2009, when the crisis peaked here, according to Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate research firm.

Nationally, lenders are expected to start 1.1 million fewer foreclosures in 2012 than they did in 2010, a drop of more than 35 percent from that year, when filings peaked at 2.9 million, according to RealtyTrac LLC, a real estate research company in Irvine, Calif.

In addition, home-loan delinquency rates, the number of borrowers falling behind on mortgages payments, are also falling, declining from a peak of about 1.7 million in 2009 to 1.4 million this year, according to Moody’s Analytics, a forecasting firm in West Chester, Pa. “The foreclosure crisis is fading,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics."

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