Maine has received $19.6 million in federal funds to help communities buy and resell homes in foreclosure, according to the Portland Press Herald.
The funds are part of an effort to prevent communities and neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosures from deteriorating. Which communities will benefit from the program is not known yet, but Michael Baran, acting director of Maine’s Office of Community Development, told the newspaper that Sanford will be a likely beneficiary.
The program is expected to help more than 150 moderate-income Maine families buy homes from the municipalities, which in turn will stabilize real estate values by taking properties off the market.
Foreclosures in Maine are on the rise, but the trend does not threaten the state’s financial institutions, according to a study released last week by the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions.
Maine’s 34 state-chartered banks and credit unions completed 67 foreclosures in 2007, a 29% increase from the 52 foreclosures completed in 2006, according to a press release from the bureau. During the first quarter of 2008, there were 28 completed foreclosures, up from 25 for the prior three months.
The state’s financial institutions held 88,000 mortgage loans between October 2006 and March 2008, according to the study. During that time one loan in 528 was in the process of foreclosure.
More information on the status of residential real estate lending by Maine’s financial institutions is available in the bureau’s 2008 Annual Report to the Legislature.
Foreclosure filings in June were up 61% over the same month last year, according to a firm that tracks foreclosures.
Maine had 276 homes, or one in every 2,504, receive a foreclosure filing in June, according to California-based RealtyTrac’s most recent U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The June numbers were a 14% increase from May 2008.
Nationally, 252,363 U.S. properties, or one in every 501 households, received a foreclosure filing during June, a 3% decrease from the previous month but a 53% increase from June 2007, according to the report.
In an article by MaineBiz.biz, Foreclosure filings in Maine increased 178% in April over the same month last year, according to data released today by RealtyTrac, a California-based firm that tracks the U.S. foreclosure market.
In April, there were 314 foreclosure filings in Maine, up 60% from March and 178% from April 2007, according to the press release.
Nationally, April saw a 4% increase from the previous month and a nearly 65% increase from April 2007. One in every 519 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the month.
Daily Real Estate News | December 5, 2007
Bill Would Help Home Owners at Brink of Foreclosure
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is pushing for a bill that would allow bankruptcy judges to change the terms of a mortgage on the primary residence of owners at risk of foreclosure or bankruptcy.
Judges would be able to lower an adjustable interest rate to a lower, fixed rate. They already have the power to do this for car loans and a number of other debts.
Durbin says his bill could help an estimated 600,000 families at risk of losing their homes because of rising adjustable mortgage rates.
“A strategic change in the bankruptcy code will provide home owners facing foreclosure a degree of financial stability – even when the market cannot,” Durbin said.
Supporters of Durbin’s bill include senior citizens, bankruptcy attorneys, the AFL-CIO, and the NAACP. The American Bankers Association and home builders are among opponents.
Floyd Stoner, a leading lobbyist for bankers, says bankruptcy judges lack expertise to predetermine a loan’s size, value, and length.
Source: The Associated Press, Dennis Conrad (12/05/2007)
Letter Sent to Troubled Borrowers: Help Is On the Way
The Hope Now alliance, a partnership between mortgage companies and nonprofit housing counselors, began a nationwide mail campaign last week to offer help to home owners who are having trouble meeting their mortgage payments.
The effort is being backed by the Bush administration. Treasury Undersecretary Robert Steel says the initial mailing would be followed by more outreach efforts in the months ahead.
Critics are calling this effort “too little too late” and are urging the administration to endorse a proposal made by Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Bair has said that mortgage companies should consider making broad-based conversions of adjustable-rate mortgages to fixed-rate loans if the borrowers are current on their payments.
Source: Dow Jones International News (11/19/07)
If you or someone you know has an ARM that is scheduled to adjust in 2007 or 2008, please schedule an appointment with a mortgage specialist right away. Don’t let a foreclosure or default situation sneak up on you. Remember, even if the Federal Reserve does lower its Fed Funds Rate later this month (which does seem likely), the majority of these ARMs borrowers will not be positively affected or “saved” by this move. For many borrowers, a short sale or a foreclosure will be the only available option.
What is a Short Sale?
A short sale, defined as an “agreement” to allow a home to be sold for less than the amount that is owed, can be a helpful compromise for everyone involved. For debt-ridden homeowners or those who owe more than the house is currently worth, a short sale could save them some of the enormous pain, embarrassment, and major credit challenges associated with bankruptcy and/or foreclosure. For lenders, it helps avoid some of the hassle and expense of seizing and auctioning off delinquent real estate. Lastly, for potential homebuyers and real estate investors, a short sale offers a great opportunity to purchase property at a significant discount in today’s tight-fisted credit environment. Read on at….http://www.allaboutnews.com/vc.php?a=y&b=23&i=143&rs=80b2f6425c0fae123c4fd8e
Source: All About News, Inc.