Are you struggling to stay current with mounting mortgage costs or finding yourself already in arrears? Well, you’re not alone. According to a recent Reuters article by Lynn Adler, a staggering one in seven households were behind on mortgage payments or is in foreclosure in the first quarter of 2010. And while the rate of new foreclosures has slowed, the sheer number of delinquencies and foreclosure actions still occurring, some two years following the beginning of the recession, is a clear sign that the U.S. housing market remains on a rocky foundation.
This first quarter data from the Mortgage Bankers Association also shows that the nation’s foreclosures rate rose to 4.63 percent, up from 4.58 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009—almost a point higher than the foreclosure rate this time last year (3.85 percent).
While these figures signify we’re a long way from a housing recovery, the diagnosis isn’t all bad: as the unemployment rate peaks, repayment pains will likely subside a bit, yielding fewer new foreclosures. But for those in the midst of foreclosure, and searching for immediate mortgage assistance, these positive forecasts can seem very distant indeed.
“It’s like shutting off the oil leak,” said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association told Reuters. “You still have a lot of oil in the Gulf to deal with.” Home loans that are 90 plus days overdue or are facing foreclosure remain at historically high levels and represent 68 percent of what Adler characterized as “problem mortgages.”
This is occurring just as the Obama administration reworked its troubled $75 billion foreclosure prevention plan. The revamped Home Affordable Modification Program (or HAMP) put into play an attempt to help those hardest hit by the housing crisis, targeting the mutinies who remain unemployed or underwater in their mortgages (owing more on their loans than their homes are worth) by creating incentives for lenders to lend or modify existing loans to them. Yet, even as some lenders are adjusting some loans to help make mortgages more manageable for borrowers, unemployment continues the pressure of making any payments and saving many a happy home.
"Some might take comfort from the apparent topping out in the number of foreclosures started, but the inventory of foreclosures continues to rise -- in other words, this headwind will linger," said Tom Porcelli, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York told Reuters.
If you’re behind on your mortgages and facing foreclosure like so many other Americans, take heart: bankruptcy can be just what you need to rebuild your budget and protect your biggest asset immediately. In fact, bankruptcy can provide an array of options appropriate for your personal situation—helping you to keep your home—especially if your inability to pay is temporary and you still have a steady form of income. With this arsenal of information in hand, you can feel more comfortable beginning a discussion with your lender, calculating the costs of keeping your home, and planning for your financial future.
So, as most American homeowners search for more immediate and steady mortgage help, you can take your best first steps to stop foreclosure in its tracks through bankruptcy. And knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help you to more quickly and easily conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— to help keep your home your own. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.