Seminars Held by Alliances to Contain Indiana Foreclosures

by Peter Vernon on Foreclosure Help

Seminars are being conducted by various business and nonprofit associations to contain Indiana foreclosures.

To prevent a huge flood of foreclosures previously expected because of the sharp rise in mortgage defaults in the metro area, organizations such as the Northwest Indiana Bankers Community Council, the Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance and the chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have started conducting seminars to clear up doubts about the Home Affordable Modification Program of the Obama administration and other federal foreclosure prevention programs.

Recently, these associations held its first Housing Resource Fair in Lake County and helped around 150 distressed homeowners in Indiana. Of these participants, 68 borrowers had their mortgage loans modified satisfactorily. These were the borrowers whose lenders participated in the event.

For homeowners whose lenders failed to attend the seminar, their cases were reviewed by housing counselors registered with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. Others made appointments with the Consumer Credit Counseling Services.

Among the banks which participated in the Lake County event were Citi Mortgage, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bank and HSBC. Bank representatives reviewed the mortgage records of homeowners, started modification procedures for qualified borrowers and gave advice to the others who did not qualify.

The pace of Indiana foreclosures slowed down in the first two months of this year, but housing market participants and state officials are worried because of the rising pace of mortgage delinquencies.

The number of bank foreclosed homes for sale increased by more than 20 percent from 1,261 units in January to 1,514 units in February. Total foreclosure filings, however, fell by 5.6 percent from 4,622 units in January to 4,361 in February. Total filings also marked a slight decline from February last year.

The pace of filing for lis pendens and foreclosure sale also slowed in February, as there were 1,329 lis pendens in February, a drop of 16.89 percent from the 1,599 lis pendens notices filed in January. The 1,517 foreclosure sale notices filed in February was 13.9 percent lower than the 1,762 foreclosure notices posted in January.

Mortgage delinquencies have been rising in Indiana because of substantial job losses in the manufacturing sector. Record numbers of subprime loans are also a significant factor. While sharp declines in house prices made housing markets in Indiana among the most affordable, they cut down home values.

Lower prices of Indiana foreclosures have been attracting buyers and rejuvenating the market, but they have also been pushing a number of homeowners to walk away from their mortgage loans and their homes.

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