As Housing Market Prepares for Post-Settlement Foreclosure Surge, Homeowners Turn to Atlanta Bankruptcy
It looks like the situation will get a bit worse for underwater borrowers before it gets better.
Following the recent approval of the $26 billion mortgage settlement, the real estate community is predicting a flood of foreclosures to hit the market this summer.
As a result, already-low home values are expected to fall by 3.7 percent by the end of 2012, according to CNN Money.
The settlement, made between U.S. states and the country's largest five mortgage lenders, sets forth new guidelines for banks to use when repossessing properties.
Lenders had previously put foreclosures on hold while their processes were investigated following the robo-signing scandal that broke in late 2010.
During this time, thousands of delinquent homeowners were allowed to continue living in their houses without making mortgage payments, as the average time it took a bank to foreclose on a property stretched to 370 days - and even longer in some states.
According to the article, up to a million foreclosures that could have been pursued last year were put on the shelf.
Now it looks like those days are over. In states where court scrutiny is required for home repossession, foreclosures are already up 10 percent in the first quarter.
Financial experts believe banks will move as quickly as possible to get the initial price drop over with so that the market can hopefully return to normalcy.
Struggling homeowners hoping the bank wouldn't notice a missed mortgage payment - or several - are out of luck. Fortunately, they aren't out of options.
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Atlanta remains an often-overlooked but valuable way to protect a property and make mortgage payments - and other forms of debt - manageable.
Not only will avoiding payments eventually lead to foreclosure, but it will also cause damaged credit and a whole lot of stress.
More Blog Entries:
Flood of Foreclosures to Hit Housing Market, by Les Christie, CNN Money