Spikes on Bank Foreclosed Home Listings in Iowa-Illinois

by Donald Hanz on Foreclosure Crisis

The housing market in Quad cities located in the Mid-Mississippi Valley region in Iowa and Illinois are experiencing a sharp increase in the number of foreclosure properties in the first six months of this year, compared with the last half of the previous year.

Industry experts are blaming the current worsening economic downturn more than predatory mortgages on the growth of bank foreclosed home listings in the region.

According to market data, foreclosures from January to June jumped by 40 percent compared with figures in the last half of the previous year. Thousands of homeowners in the region have filed for foreclosures, representing six out of 100 homes in the area.

And foreclosure home auctions are common events in the region. For the first six months of this year, 281 auctions of foreclosure houses were posted in the Scott County Courthouse, an increase from the 238 foreclosed homes auctioned off last year.

Cheryl Sosnowski, a foreclosure clerk, said that the housing market situation in the area is not getting better, adding that the current banking situation is not helping matters get better. Weekly auctions in Scott County are booked until the first week of October.

Meanwhile, in Davenport, Iowa, foreclosed houses are common sights in neighborhoods in the area. United Neighbors director of housing Dawn Mutum-Plies said that unemployment rate in the area is increasing, leaving homeowners with no means to pay their monthly mortgages.

United Neighbors has recorded a sharp increase in the number of homeowner participants in its foreclosure rescue program. Participation jumped to 155, almost four times compared with 40 of the previous year. And United Neighbors can only save about 50 percent of those distressed properties.

Industry experts said that unemployment is the major reason why a great number of homeowners are going into defaults right now. And until the employment market showed some improvements, foreclosures would continue to haunt the area.

Furthermore, the escalating number of foreclosed homes in the area are not just affecting homeowners but also other houses in the neighborhood by pulling down property values.

Industry experts are hoping that the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable program would be able to help distressed homeowners and the housing market by financing home loans. They said that the program should show some progress immediately to avert the spread of foreclosed properties, the number of which are climbing daily.