County foreclosures edge up, but expert says that’s expected
by Kristal Dixon
kdixon@cherokeetribune.com
November 10, 2011 11:59 PM | 3210 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Foreclosure notices once again surged in October, but some local experts see a silver lining.

There are 470 new foreclosure listings advertised for the Dec. 6 auction on the courthouse steps in today’s Cherokee Tribune, the county’s legal organ.

That’s up from 368 new ones that were published in October, but down from 522 published for the first time in November 2010.

So far this year, 4,085 new listings have been advertised, down from 4,857 in 2010.

The surge is what to be expected in today’s volatile market, said Allison Faust, a bankruptcy attorney with Abernathy & Associates in Canton.

She noted the rise could be attributed to banks finally starting foreclosure proceedings on homeowners who are behind.

“It’s just a matter of time before banks begin to file more foreclosures (notices),” she said.

On the bright side, Faust said those receiving foreclosure notices have 30 days before their property is sold to work out agreements with banks.

A bankruptcy filing, Faust said, can at least stop the foreclosure proceedings and allow homeowners a little breathing room.

While the notices have jumped, Becky Babcock with ERA Sunrise Realty said more agents are closing on foreclosed properties in general.

“What I’m seeing is the number of foreclosures selling has almost doubled. So everybody is selling,” she said.

She noted her office had 128 closings last month, compared to 65 in October 2010.

Babcock also said more banks are encouraging homeowners to take the short sale route instead of allowing homes to go into foreclosure.

With a short sale, Babcock said banks often release homeowners of future liability as opposed to using a court-issued deficiency judgment to go after homeowners to recoup the losses after the foreclosure is complete.

Colleen Moore with Prudential Georgia Realty agreed, adding banks have also been more willing to do loan modifications to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Moore said she hopes the banks will hold off on rolling out its foreclosure inventory “all at once,” which she said could slow down the recovery and “destroy a neighborhood’s value.”

She also noted she hopes more homeowners will take advantage of different options out there that could help them save their homes.

“The more they are aware of the options that are out there the less foreclosures we’ll see,” she said.

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