Money Given to Buy Homes from Arizona Foreclosure Listings

by Peter Vernon on States

Arizona residents who could not afford to buy homes a year ago now have the chance to buy foreclosure houses from listings following the state’s implementation of its new housing programs funded by $121 million from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Under the rules of the federal program, the $121 million funding must be spent to rehabilitate neighborhoods battered by foreclosure listings. In Arizona, these neighborhoods are mostly located in the Valley area.

New stabilization programs designed by the state have been made available to residents of the cities of Phoenix, Avondale, Glendale, Chandler, Mesa, Surprise and Tucson and the counties of Maricopa and Pima.

Residents are advised to visit the Arizona Housing Department’s new web site YourWayHomeAz.com. The web site lists eligibility requirements for the various housing options offered.

Most of the state programs require home buying and home ownership counseling. Residents earning 120 percent or lower than the area’s median income are qualified for the housing options.

Donald Cardon, newly appointed director of the state’s Housing Department, said all information on YourWayHomeAz.com is free and that prospective homebuyers need to be on guard against similarly-named web sites that ask for payment before complete information is given.

Phoenix received $39.5 million, the biggest amount from the state allocation. The city is offering up to $15,000 each for eligible buyers to buy homes from foreclosure listings. The amount can be spent for down payment or closing cost.

Other cities are offering financial assistance in buying and in repairing homes from foreclosure listings.

However, state housing officials have observed that the number of Valley homes available in bank foreclosure listing have been dropping. In April, both pre-foreclosures and foreclosures dropped while foreclosure cancellations shot up. The number of trustee deeds and number of properties added to foreclosure listings dropped to 3,103 from the March total of 3,377 units, based on data from Information Market.

In April, around 89 percent of foreclosures were given back to lenders, a decrease from the 95 percent rate in March and in many of the previous months.

Arizona housing analysts contend that short sales, moratoriums and the federal campaign for more loan modification could be the factors of the decline in additions to foreclosure listings.

Still, Tom Ruff, analyst at Information Market, said it is possible foreclosure filings could increase again this month.

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