Meeting to Address Effects of Bank Owned Foreclosures

by Simon Lindsay on Foreclosure Help

A meeting to address the effects of bank owned foreclosures were attended by distressed homeowners and renters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Foreclosure Response meeting provided information on the foreclosure mediation law and its benefits to renters and homeowners who are fighting foreclosures.

A growing number of renters in Michigan and across the United States have become innocent victims of the foreclosure crisis. Most often landlords would not inform their tenants that they are renting bank owned foreclosures. And renters would scramble to find another affordable home to live in a short period of time.

The meeting, where homeowners and renters shared their horrifying experiences with foreclosures, coincided with the National Day of Action.

Foreclosure Response event organizer Kym Spring said that everybody should cooperate and get active on the fight against foreclosure. According to data released at the meeting, the foreclosure rate in Grand Rapids rose to 1,753 houses in 2008 from 551 in 2004.

Hardest hit neighborhoods are South East with 214 foreclosed properties, Garfield Park with 267 and 213 in Creston. Participants of the meeting were being told that being pro-active may mean a lot when facing foreclosure.

In May, a foreclosure mediation bill was approved which gives an opportunity to homeowners to coordinate with nonprofit housing counselors for free and request a mediation meeting with lenders to work on loan modification.

Meanwhile, the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act requires that all renters of bank owned foreclosures should be given at least 90 days prior notice before eviction. Also, renters have the option to stay on the foreclosed property until the lease expires.

Michigan is one of the states in the top 10 with high foreclosure rates in May. The state’s total foreclosure last month was 13,891. For the first quarter, the filings of foreclosures were made on 33,184 properties in Michigan, representing a 2 percent drop from the last quarter of 2008 but 12 percent higher than the reported 2008 first quarter period.

Michigan’s inclusion in the top 10 states with high foreclosure rates is attributed to its 12.6 unemployment rate. Industry experts agree that with the pace of foreclosure activity in the state, Michigan will continue to be among the leading states with the most number of bank owned foreclosures.