There were 420 foreclosures printed for the first time in today’s Cherokee Tribune, the county’s legal organ, to be sold on the courthouse steps on Feb. 7.
That’s up from 283 listed for the first time in December and 398 published in January 2011.
Lewis Cline, community executive and senior vice president with Bank of North Georgia in downtown Canton, said foreclosures in 2012 will remain elevated for Cherokee County.
Of the roughly 51 million mortgages circulating in the United States, 3.7 million are delinquent and 23 million have been past due at lease once, Cline said.
Cline also said the economy lost 8.4 million jobs, but has only regained 2.1 million jobs in the economic recovery. He said millions remain unemployed and close to 9.3 million have been counted as underemployed.
“With no real net gains in employment seen for 2012, more people will lose their homes or shed their high mortgages by letting them revert back to mortgage companies to seek more affordable accommodations to meet their budgets,” he said.
Cherokee Bank President & CEO Dennis Burnette echoed Cline’s feelings.
Burnette characterized December as an aberration, and said he believed 2012 foreclosure rates will remain comparable to last year’s figures.
“A huge number of people remain with a mortgage payment that is an excessive burden because of lower or no income,” he said.
John Cenni of Keller Williams Realty, who sells mainly foreclosed properties, said January’s surge could be attributed to banks finally moving forward with foreclosure proceedings after holding off in December. Cenni added the surge could also be because banks and homeowners are not able to work out loan modification programs.
Along with Cline and Burnette, Cenni also predicted a grim outlook for 2012.
“In my mind, I believe this whole crisis will be hanging on for another three to five years,” he said.