Archive for the 'Sacramento Foreclosures' Category

West Sacramento Certified HAFA Specialist Answers HAFA Questions

Certified HAFA Specialist Designation
Certified HAFA Specialists Are Trained To Close Your HAFA Short Sale in West Sacramento
Certified HAFA Specialist Forth Hoyt Explains HAFA Benefits
Certified HAFA Specialist Specializing in West Sacramento

What are the HAFA Benefits? Can I Do A HAFA Short Sale?

West Sacramento has become a Short Sale Hotbed… HAFA is making Short Sales Easier!

West Sacramento HAFA Certified Short Sale Specialist and Expert HAFA Short Sale Negotiator Forth Hoyt Explains The Benefits Of HAFA.

A moving, evolving and improving system; HAFA is definitely getting better and better, moving towards becoming the solution it was supposed to be when it was first rolled out.

You see, the HAFA Government Short Sale Program was created in the wake of a Failing HAMP loan modification program that is only providing less than 50% of its applicants with any type of successful modification.

…and of those 40ish% of homeowners that are successful, less than 3% receive any type of principle reduction to their loan -so less than 1 in 100 loan modification applicants get what they need as far as a long term, sustainable solution…

So you can see why the government had to step in and attempt to set up a program that would streamline and systematize the very hard to manage and difficult Short Sale Process.

HAFA is a last-ditch effort to keep homeowners out of foreclosure, after failing a loan modification attempt.

Designed by the Administration and funded by the Treasury, The HAFA Program, which took effect April 5, 2010, provides servicer, seller and Investor( whoever actually owns the note) benefits

When HAFA was first introduced, these servicer, seller and lien holder incentives were touted as being designed to simplify and streamline the use of short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure. A great deal of hoopla and fanfare over the new program made it sound like the HAFA program was going to be the short sale Garden of Eden.

What a joke-

I personally was talking sellers out of using HAFA because I had several terrible experiences with the program and thought it was not only a waste of time, but nearly guaranteed that the homeowners wold end up with a foreclosure on their credit-

However, in the last several months there have been major changes to the HAFA program and the way it is being administered and currently I have three HAFA short sales that are moving along nicely and look forward to an approved HAFA short sale in just a few days.

What in the World Is HAFA?

What do I need to do to be considered for HAFA? How do I find out if I can do HAFA?
Contact you bank(‘s) or servicer(‘s) immediately and ask if you qualify and/or if your investor(‘s) is/are participating in HAFA.They will tell you that homeowners must be evaluated for HAFA within 30 calendar days of the following:

What Other Government Programs Do You Qualify For? CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY NOW!

Are you in,West Sacramento, Folsom, Granite Bay, El Dorado Hills, Natomas, Roseville, Elk Grove, Mather, Lincoln, Rocklin, or any other Sacramento area? We really are here to help!

More Questions About your Situation? Talk To A Certified West Sacramento Foreclosure Prevention Expert and HAFA Specialist Today!

Contact us Today At Forth Hoyt’s Sacramento Short Sale Center

Or Find if you qualify for your 1st or 2nd Lien Modification Program (2MP) harp

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Sacramento Foreclosures and Short Sales to Continue For at Least Four Years… Analysts say

Sacramento Foreclosures will continue until prices rebound, people get back to work and the economy improves. Analysts say that will be at least four years. But economists agree that the California economy is more tied to joblessness than to housing.

Foreclosure Drive

Even though there are signs California may be beginning to emerge from the recession; the numbers indicate there are many more homes to come through the “foreclosure pipeline”.  Housing sales have been growing for several months, and state Controller John Chiang on Thursday released his December cash report that showed the month’s receipts rose above estimates by $481 million, or 5.7%.

According to an article the other day in the Bee, even the Appraisal Institutes economic forum analysts agree that joblessness and politics have more to do with the economy than foreclosures.

(Source: The Sacramento Bee) trackingBy Jim Wasserman, The Sacramento Bee,

Jan. 16–Even as Sacramento entertains ambitious proposals for a new NBA arena, economists Friday warned it will take up to four years for the region to recover from its overbuilding and overspending spree.

Analysts Friday told 150 residential and commercial appraisers that area recovery could begin taking shape in mid- to late 2011. But it will be prolonged, slow and susceptible to setbacks, they said during a 2010 economic forum sponsored by the Sacramento Sierra chapter of the Appraisal Institute.

The pronouncements came as the capital region endures 12.4 percent unemployment and predictions the jobless rate may rise to 13.5 percent. Hanging, too, over Friday’s forum: a wild-card specter of new state cuts that many fear could disproportionately afflict the capital.

“I don’t expect 2010 to be anything more than a year of stabilization,” said Garrick Brown, Sacramento research director for commercial real estate brokerage Colliers International. Brown said rents are still falling and more stores, offices and industrial spaces are sitting empty.

“I think we’re about to enter a period of two to three years where there’s virtually no new construction,” he said. “It means there’s going to be a lot of developers out there without a lot to do.”

Brown said retailers are again filling large area stores that went dark after 2008 retailer implosions. But they won’t fill smaller shopping center spaces any time soon.

“You won’t see a new push by mom and pop retailers for four or five years. They’re dependent on home (refinancings) and it’s not happening,” he said. Unfilled space and tenants struggling to pay rent are forces pushing many owners toward foreclosure, he said. That suggests a sequel to the residential meltdown that began in 2007.

But an often-predicted tsunami of commercial foreclosures won’t happen, Brown said. Instead, they will dribble out “in waves of distressed assets the next five years.”

Folsom home-building industry consultant Greg Paquin told appraisers that commercial real estate “is where (the residential market was) two years ago.”

He said 2009 was the bottom for capital-area home builders, who reported a half-century low of 2,814 sales for the year. That’s an 84 percent drop from the housing boom’s 2004 peak. Sales will rise 10 percent this year, said Paquin, president of The Gregory Group.

Though residential foreclosures still cloud the housing market, Paquin said he doesn’t expect a double-dip recession or spiraling inflation, or, in response to a question about rising commuting costs, the death of suburbia.

“I’ve heard people say the suburbs are dead.

I strongly disagree,” he said. “I think we’ll see urban-style development in suburban areas.” Paquin, like Brown, expressed anxiety about the politics of state budget cuts. Both analysts noted that large-scale state employee layoffs could push area unemployment past 15 percent, delay recovery by a year or two and send the foreclosure rate “vertical.” Said Brown: “Until we get a handle on that, it’s hard to know what’s going to happen to our local economy.”

Los Angeles economist Chris Thornberg sounded the same theme, saying the economy rests more on political decisions than fundamentals.

Thornberg declared the U.S. recession over, saying, “The recession didn’t end because the problem of imbalance was fixed. It came to an end because of massive government intervention in the economy.”

Thornberg, head of Bacon Economics, said the shape of recovery depends on the “politics of the next 18 months.”

He told appraisers he’s bullish on California and praised a return of cheaper housing once again aligned with incomes.
“For all intents and purposes we’re back to where we need to be,” he said.
Thornberg counseled patience in working off excesses from 15 years of large trade deficits, overspending and debt.
“We have to work our way back to where the economy can grow normally,” he said.

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Sacramento Trustee Sale Report… More Postponements

December Sacramento Trustee Sale Report 

November California Notice of Default and Notice of Trustee Sale Numbers…

 Notice Of Defaults vs. Trustee Sales Nov 09


Graph of California Notice of Defaults/Trustee Sales


Sacramento Trustee Sales Continue to be Re-Scheduled on nearly 90% of trustee sales at 720 9TH ST  downtown Sacramento most days. Imperfect foreclosure, and/or new policies under the HAMP/TARP guidelines are usually blamed.

The whole state of California has been experiencing this too, lately, even though Fannie Mae said on Dec. 15th that they were not going to re-schedule or postpone any more Trustee Sales.

According to Sean O’tooles blog on ForeclosureRadar (, the only website that tracks every California foreclosure and provides daily auction updates, issued its monthly California Foreclosure Report for for November 2009. Despite apparent headline month-over-month declines in foreclosure activity, the real story requires looking at changes in the average daily activity. November had only 18 days on which filings could be recorded or trustee sales held because of fewer days in the month, Veterans Day and the Thanksgiving Holiday, while October had 22 recording days, and 21 trustee sale days. After adjusting for this difference in days we find little month-over-month change in the statistics, with the exception of Notices of Trustee Sale which declined 13.4 percent, Cancellations which rose 40.0 percent and Sales to 3rd Parties which rose 8.0 percent on a daily average basis.

“We’ve been waiting to see some impact from the Home Affordable Modification Program,” says Sean O’Toole, Founder and CEO of “The 40 percent increase in cancellations this month is likely just the beginning of what we expect will be a wave of cancellations under this program”.

Foreclosure Filings

Notice of Default

Prior Month Prior Year
-18.98% 35.41%

Notice of Trustee Sale

Prior Month Prior Year
29.14% -4.03%

It is important to recognize that the decline in Foreclosure Filings is primarily due to a difference in the number of days documents can be recorded month-over-month and not fewer filings each day. With just 18 recording days in November versus 22 in October, average daily filings of Notices of Default only declined 1 percent, while Notices of Trustee Sale declined 13.4 percent from the prior month.

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9 Must Know Tips on buying Sacramento Short Sales or Sacramento Foreclosure


Weekly Sacramento Short Sale Foreclosure Report

Beautiful Natomas Home

Many Sacramento home buyers want to hit the jackpot and buy that Sacramento REO foreclosed home, or a Sacramento Short Sale, many of which are often under-priced by the bank or seller. When asset managers (working for banks to unload their foreclosed homes)  or a distressed homeowner price  REOs or short sales under the market, multiple offers are usually the response . This means as a buyer vying for a Sacramento Home, you could be up against stiff competition for that bank-owned home, short sale or foreclosure.

Especially now that the Sacramento Real Estate Market is short of  inventory and it’s hard to find a home that interests you,  it’s not unusual for some REO (bank owned homes) or Sacramento short sale homes in  to receive 15 or 20 offers or more. Sometimes the bank or homeowner will only respond to two or three offers by asking the selected buyers’ agents to resubmit for their buyer what is called their “Highest and Best” offer.  Sometimes the bank or homeowner simply accepts the best offer at inception. Sacramento foreclosures that enter the market as bank owned or REO, or short sales and are priced under the market or below comparable sales are usually gone in days.

If you’re wondering how you can make your offer shine above all the rest and be the winning offer, For either Short Sales or Bank Owned Foreclosures here are a few tips to help you select the right price and terms:

1) Learn the Property History

If it is an REO: ask your buyer’s agent to find out the bank’s purchase price on the Trustee’s Deed or Sheriff’s Deed. Generally, it is noted on the document itself, which you can get from the tax rolls or a title company. Compare that price to the price the bank is asking.

Look at the amount of loans that were once secured to the property. Somewhere between the original mortgage balance(s) and the foreclosure sale price is the amount the bank will accept, if the home is under-priced.

If it is a Short-sale, have your Buyer’s agent ask the listing agent what the mortgages are- how many banks, which banks and what the balances of those loans are. It is important to see how much is currently mortgaged on the home. This information can also be deemed from tax records, is usually pretty easy to figure: If the home was purchased in 2004 for $400,000 and mortgaged for $320,000, there is probably still well over $300,000 owed.


2) Study the Situation

If it is a Bank Owned Sacramento Foreclosure: How long has the bank owned the property? How long was  it been in the “pre-list”  stage?  Were the past owners evicted? Was it vacant when the bank took over? Are their outstanding utility bills and HOA liens or Code Enforcement fines that may need to be dealt with at the eleventh hour of escrow? Ask your buyers agent to contact the listing agent if possible, many Sacramento REO listing agents are notorious about being “untouchable” or hard to contact- be persistent. Most Sacramento bank-owned agents have staff that will answer your questions.  Know about the property before you write an offer.

If it is a Sacramento Short Sale, find out about Recourse on the Second Mortgage,  if there is one. Were all loans “purchase money loans?” Make sure your buyer’s agent knows what this is and what the ramifications could be.  Be sure you are working with an agent who is a hort Sale Specialist and a Short Sale Listing Agent.  When most Sacramento Short sales will be multiple  offer competitive situations, you only want to write offers on short-sales that have a decent chance of being successful.

 3) Study Comparable Sales

Here in our market, Sacramento shortsales and Sacramento bank owned foreclosures make up to 85% of the market in the last six months or more…  so that means that every home in a radius search of the Bank Owned Property you are interested in may also be bank owned or short sales. In many cases, the list price has little bearing on the value of the home. The market value will always prevail-  If you are up against competing offers, many times other buyers will offer more than list price, they will do their homework to see what they belie market price to be and coffer that price.

4) Review Listing Agent’s REO and Short Sales  Solds History

Most Sacramento REO agents work for one or two banks. Some listing agents are exclusive listing agents for REOs, and they do not list any other type of property. Some agents will do Elusively Short Sales, some will do a combination.  Since most Sacramento REO  and  Sacramento Short Sale agent will deal in volume, they typically apply the same pricing principles to all their foreclosure listings.

5) Ask Listing Agent About Number of Offers

 If there are no offers on the Sacramento Foreclosure REO or Sacramento short sale home, you can probably offer less than list price and get your offer accepted. However, if there are more than two offers, you will most likely need to offer above the asking price.

If there are multiple offers, bear in mind that some of those offers might be all cash. Banks like all cash offers. Short sale sellers don’t really care and the bank that is being shorted sees no benefit in a cash offer- it’s going to get cash at the close of escrow whether the buyer gets a loan or not, and a homeowner is probably going to counter for a longer escrow time, so a cash offer is really no benefit. 

If you are obtaining financing for a bank owned, then you may need to increase the price on your offer to be considered.

5) Submit Preapproval Letter

You do not want a prequal letter. You want a preapproval letter. Get preapproved from a  lender in advance. both Bank owned transactions and short sale transactions require the buyer to be fully approved.

Moreover, if it is a bank owned, get pre approved by the lender who owns the property. Do not expect to use this lender for your loan, but submit the prepproval letter from this lender, along with the letter from your own lender. Banks don’t trust other lender pre approvals but trust their own departments.

6) Don’t Ask for Repairs / Inspections up from

Make a squeaky clean offer…

On an REO or Bank Owned, sometimes banks will pay for repairs, but usually will not agree to do so at the offer stage.  Besides, remember, you are probably in multiple offer competition here in the Sacramento bank owned foreclosure market. If there are problems found during a home inspection, renegotiate after your offer has been accepted.

On a Short Sale it is very hard to negotiate repairs any time after the initial offer has been approved by the bank- if you absolutely love the house you may want to have your inspections done outside of the contract offer, getting your offer accepted and then approved by the bank is the most critical and hardest part of the process.  You may want to do your own inspections just for your information, but don’t ask the bank to pay for anything other than a pest report, if that (remember you may be in competition for the best offer). It will cost some up front money but will keep the deal clean. 


7) Shorten the Inspection Period

If other buyers ask for 17 days, for example, to conduct inspections, and you ask for 10, you will be deemed the more serious buyer.

8) Offer to Split Fees

On REO’s some banks will not pay transfer taxes, for example. If the you as a buyer offer to split those fees, the bank will feel more amenable to accepting the offer. Same thing for escrow and title fees– remember, this is just business .

On short sales, the most important thing to remember is that it is all about net to the bank- how much money are they going to net from your offer- do whatever has to be done to get your offer accepted by the seller and then approved by the bank.

Many banks negotiate discount fees for title insurance. If the bank will pay for the owner’s policy, the ALTA policy might cost a bit more. But it’s still a good idea to let the bank choose title if you want your offer accepted.

9) Consider the Appraisal Consequences

If you offer over list price on a Sacramento Foreclosure Bank Owned or Sacramento Short Sale, bear in mind that the appraisal will need to substantiate that price, if you are going to obtain financing for your foreclosure purchase. If you find yourself dealing with a low appraisal, you have options; so don’t despair. Remember, the new appraised value will be disclosed to the next buyer and. Most times the bank (either as the seller or the montage lender/investor of a short sale) will agree to sell at the appraised value.

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Sacramento Area Foreclosure News


720 9th St. Trustee Sale Location

The Foreclosure market here in Sacramento is currently drying up… very few homes coming on the market as REO or bank-owned, fewer foreclosure filings, Multiple offers for the homes that are priced right, and an overall sense of “wait and see” seems to be on most potential buyers’ minds right now.

The banks have been rescheduling foreclosure sales or Trustee Sales at the county courthouse for so long, that now the foreclosure departments just haven’t been scheduling them in the first place– kinda makes sense, if all your going to do is reschedule it and put it off anyway; why spend the time and money on  scheduling it in the first place?

If the number of buyers at the foreclosure sale (trustee sale) is any indication– there must be many investors who believe the prices are not going much lower, or who think there may be some up-tick in the market sometime soon: the number of buyers has tripled or quadrupled in the last several months and continues to grow, according to friends who attend the sales down at 720 9th St. downtown Sacramento (address for the Sacramento County Municipal and Superior Courts). they say tat over 90% of foreclosure sales are postponed still, or re-scheduled, usually for only 30 days at a time…

In other Sacramento area real estate news: According to OBSNews

An amendment co-authored by Sacramento Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D–California) has been based by the House of Representatives and was added to the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173) yesterday. The act requires mortgage servicers or lenders who are participating in the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP) to publicly report their progress in helping responsible homeowners stay in their homes. The amendment was introduced by Congresswoman Matsui with Rep. Betty Sutton (D–Ohio) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D–Florida), and debated on the House floor. Passage of H.R. 4173 is expected today.

“Too many families in my district of Sacramento have faced foreclosure on their homes as a direct result of the economic meltdown,” stated Matsui. “There is another uptick in foreclosures expected that could affect as many as 4.5 million homeowners over the next two years. The Making Home Affordable Program holds the potential to greatly reduce these figures, and my amendment will ensure accountability on the mortgage industry. Transparency will incentivize the mortgage industry to help responsible homeowners stay in their homes.”


Some information courtesy (

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Sacramento Real Estate “Less Favorable” in report… May Not Be Helped Much By Extension Ot Tax Credit


All Sacramento County Real Estate

Sacramento real estate market called Less Favorable in think tank report…

Urban Land Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank reported yesterday in its “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010” report that there may be problems ahead for Sacramento real estate market. 

Jonathan Miller, a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers who wrote the report,said ”On balance here, I guess it’s a sober year for 2010 and maybe not much better in 2011,” in a telephone news conference from the convention. “It all depends on how the economy behaves and if the consumer comes back. We don’t expect much of a resurgence.”

In the report, Sacramento was described as less favorable because of “concerns about government gridlock, rising taxes and an inhospitable business climate”.


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Fence-Sitters Beware: There is No ‘Shadow Inventory’ and No ‘Tsunami’ Coming…

Shadow Inventory of Foreclosed Homes 

The shadow inventory that people have been talking about for so long… I have lost buyers (who just got so lethergic and wishy-washy and finally decided waiting was better than buying) because of the fear that somehow a spigot of homes was going to be turned on and flood the market, driving real estate prices even lower here in the Sacramento area…

Now we are finding that maybe it has been a misnomer all along….

According to Sean O’Toole, and Foreclosuretruth; the blog: There is currently no shadow inventory of bank-owned (REO) properties. What’s more, a surge in REO properties (the Tsunami) is not likely anytime soon.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve said it before, here and here and other places. However, it still seems to be news (see the recent WSJ article) and despite the fact that the most recent CA Foreclosure Report from runs the numbers, some still insist the shadow is there.

First, let’s be clear about what shadow inventory is. These are homes that the bank has already foreclosed on, but which, for no apparent reason, aren’t listed. The implication is that banks are holding REO properties back from the market to restrict supply and prop up prices. This actually seemed like a distinct possibility a year ago when the banks were clearly holding more inventory than they were listing. But that is no longer the case. In the past year, they have resold far more than they’ve taken back, eliminating any possibility that a shadow remains.

Some observers, who earlier this year warned that this shadow inventory would deluge the market with REO listings, have now redefined shadow inventory to include properties that should be foreclosed on. They continue with misguided warnings of a deluge of REO listings any moment now.

Not so. These properties are not lurking in the shadows at all. We know exactly which properties are in trouble and where they are in the process. Using you can easily see every potential REO listing, from Notice of Default to Notice of Trustee Sale, for the next six to nine months. In addition, even if banks reversed course and started foreclosing aggressively today, it would be months before we saw those listings as it takes time to evict the homeowner, clean up and list the property.

What’s more, they’re not going anywhere. These properties aren’t grinding through the pipeline to foreclosure and into the shadow inventory. They’re not moving at all because we as a society lack the political will to foreclose. Because the national focus is targeted on keeping homeowners in their homes, the drain is bigger than the spigot – REO properties are selling faster than distressed properties are being foreclosed on.

As a result, the pendulum has swung to the other side. Instead of a glut of properties hitting the market, as so many have warned, we currently don’t have enough inventory for those who want to buy homes, and homeowners are still in trouble because the so-called solutions (foreclosure moratoriums, loan modification, refinancing) don’t fix the real problem, which is negative equity.

No more conspiracy theories. We need to abandon the obsession with shadow inventory, which distracts us from the national discussion we should be having. With the current lack of inventory, its time to force banks to clean up their balance sheets by dealing head-on with the trillions in negative equity that remains, either though loan modifications that reduce principal balances to near current value, short sale, or, if necessary foreclosure. These are the only solutions that deal with the core problem of negative equity. It’s time for “extend and pretend” to end.

About Sean O’Toole

Sean is the founder of, the only company that tracks every foreclosure in California with daily updates on all foreclosure auctions. Prior to ForeclosureRadar Sean spent 15 years building and launching software companies before entering the foreclosure business in 2002 where he has successfully bought and sold more than 150 foreclosure properties.

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Sacramento Trustee Sale Postponements and Face to Face Requirements


Sacramento Trustee Sales Report

Foreclosure Solution Expert Report

Foreclosure sale postponed

I was visiting with a good friend the other day who attends the Sacramento trustee Sales downtown (Yes, they really have a live auction, some days there are three separate sales going on simultaneously at 720 9TH ST; downtown Sacramento) he said he is still seeing more than 7 out of ten sales being postponed.  For some reason or another banks and serivcers are pretty much imposing their own foreclosure moratorium, at least here in Sacramento County.

I am a Home Retention Counselor with Titanium solutions and the assignments have been picking up. I used to get one or so a week, but lately have been getting at least five assignments a week, even though I only cover four Zip Codes with Titanium. Titanium Solutions contracts with loss mitigation departments to contact homeowners who for some reason or another have fallen out of touch with their servicer.

In almost every case, the homeowner has at one time either started a loan modification,agreed to look into a loan modification or they have short sale file started and then had somehow fallen out of contact with the right department at the bank. That’s where Titanium comes in– I will go knock on the door, leave a note, look up past phone numbers etc., and normally I am successful at getting the homeowners back in touch with the bank.

Lately though, I have run across situations where the homeowner has been in touch with the bank and working diligently either on a short sale or a loan modification. I talked to a lady in Folsom the other day who had just hung up the phone with her servicer about a half hour before I showed up.  Her file was perfect, needed no updating and was in review. Another evening last week in Granite bay, I sat down with homeowners who had a short sale file in and being negotiated and was supposed to have a short sale approval letter that week,

It makes me wonder, why are these servicers doing that?

In my research for an answer, I came across information that suggests that the major banks, who have still got TARP money are being pressured to make some kind of FACE TO FACE contact with their borrowers before they can use foreclosure as a means of recovery.

So by having it documented that a bank representative has come by face to face, the banks now have the foreclosure solution available to them, should the short sale or loan modification fail.  (the Titanium Script that I must use with borrowers clearly states that I am a representative of their servicer and a debt collecter and that any information gathered will be used for that purpose).

Could that perhaps have anything to do with the Sacramento Trustee Sale Postponements? Are the two related in any way or just coincidence?

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Sacramento Valley Small Towns Previously Sheltered are Now Hit Hard With Foreclosure Crisis

Sacramento Valley and San Juaquin Valley small towns that have been hit hard by unemployment are seeing a dramatic increase lately in foreclosure filings.

I came across this article today and though I’d pass it along…

The foreclosure crisis in the US is moving into small towns and suburbs which have previously been untouched by the economic downturn, according to new research.

A new report from RealtyTrac show a dramatic increase in foreclosures from a year ago in suburban areas previously believed to be more stable, such as Boise, Idaho, up nearly 22% from the second quarter of the year and Provo, Utah, which saw foreclosures up almost 11% in the same period.

In several states foreclosure activities have reached smaller towns with previously self-sustaining industries such as Chico in the Sacramento Valley, California, which has seen a staggering 98% increase in foreclosures from the third quarter of 2008.

The Las Vegas metro area had the highest percentage of foreclosures among its housing units in the third quarter, up 5.13% followed by Merced, California, up 3.72% and Cape Coral in Florida up 3.67%.

‘We are seeing migration into secondary markets and a migration into formerly stable areas and areas that have been wracked by unemployment,’ explained Rick Sharga, the vice president of marketing at RealtyTrac.

Sharga said that he expects a peak in foreclosures in 2010, only a marginal improvement in 2011 and a return to normal monthly foreclosure activity sometime in 2012.

‘Rising unemployment and a new variety of mortgage resets continued to gradually shift the nation’s foreclosure epicenters in the third quarter away from the hot spots of the last two years and toward some metro areas that had avoided the brunt of the first foreclosure wave,’ added chief executive James Saccacio.

‘While toxic subprime mortgages drove much of that first wave of foreclosures, high unemployment and exotic Alt-A Option ARMs are spreading the foreclosure flood to more metro areas in 2009,’ he said.

Meanwhile, a rush of property buyers is pushing up real estate transactions as they try to beat the government’s deadline at the end of November for the $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers.

The latest figures from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show that its Pending Home Sales Index rose to 110.1 in September, its eight consecutive monthly rise.

The index now stands at the highest level since December 2006 when it was 112.8 and is 21.2% higher than September last year, marking the largest annual gain on record.

It could be a short lived blip though, as many analysts believe that the recovery in the US housing market is being propped up by the first-time buyer tax credit that was introduced by the Government to boost demand for houses.

‘What we’re witnessing is a rush of first-time buyers trying to beat the expiration of the tax credit at the end of this month,’ said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

 Wednesday, 04 November 2009 courtesy10:03 Ray Clancy USA – US Property News

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