As Georgia Foreclosure Activity Spikes, Atlanta Bankruptcy Provides Homeowner Relief
Foreclosure filings increased in every U.S. state this May, but Georgia had it particularly bad.
Whereas 1 in every 639 homes in the U.S. received a foreclosure filing last month, 1 in every 300 homes in Georgia got one - the highest rate of any state, according to recent data from RealtyTrac.
While some regions have stabilized, experts say states like Georgia, California, and Nevada are still caught in the downward spiral of falling home prices.
Until recently, the nation's largest banks had held off on foreclosure as they reevaluated practices that led to the robo-signing scandal, in which bank officials hurriedly signed papers without reading them - and in some cases, actually falsified documents.
Now that a settlement has been reached between states and lenders, banks are ready to begin dealing with delinquent properties.
For most homeowners, that means continued downward pressure on prices.
Pre-foreclosure homes - or those that wind up as short sales or auction sales - tend to sell for 21 percent less, on average, than non-distressed properties. Homes that go through the foreclosure process and end up owned by a bank sell for 33 percent less.
The good news is that once the backlog of distressed properties moves through bank systems, home prices can finally stabilize.
Just because banks are moving forward with foreclosures doesn't mean all delinquent property owners are destined to lose their homes. Depending on your situation, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop foreclosure and strengthen finances.
On an individual basis, it's debt - not decreasing real estate prices - that leads to missed mortgage payments.
By filing for Atlanta bankruptcy, Georgia homeowners can rearrange unsecured debts - often reducing obligations - freeing up money needed to catch up on delinquent payments.
Instead of losing your home or selling it for far less than what you paid, you may be able to reduce debt and begin rebuilding your credit.
You might not be able to control the real estate market, but with bankruptcy, you can regain control of your family's financial future.
To find out if bankruptcy is right for your family, consider speaking with one of our professional Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys. Call the DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm at 800-440-7235 today for your free personal debt evaluation.
More Blog Entries:
Foreclosure Activity Jumps in Troubling Sign for Housing Recovery, by Allison Lin, MSNBC.com