Foreclosed Properties Offered at Sheriff Auctions Rose in Utah in 2010

by on States

The number of foreclosed properties offered at Sheriff auctions continued to increase in Utah in 2010. The number of properties that received a foreclosure-related filing in the region rose again last year, making Utah the fifth state in the U.S. with the highest rate of foreclosure in 2010. Last year also marked the third consecutive year that Utah was included in the list of states with the highest foreclosure rates.

Bank foreclosures in Saint George and in the rest of the state increased by 20% in 2010 compared with 2009 levels. When compared with 2008 figures, last year's foreclosure filings total was up by 119%. One household out of every 29 housing units in Utah was under some stage of foreclosure in 2010. With the housing industry crisis in the region not showing any sign of abating, legislators have proposed several ways by which the housing industry problem can be resolved.

To address the problem of Utah bank foreclosures, Senator Ben McAdams stated that there should be transparency in the foreclosure process. He also stated that borrowers and lenders, particularly banks that are not based locally, should have better communication and better understanding of each other. McAdams further added that fostering better communication between lenders and borrowers has been proven to be effective in other markets.

Representative LaVar Christensen has supported McAdams claim that better communication between banks and homeowners is needed if the number of foreclosed properties in Sheriff auctions is to be lowered. He reveals that he plans to introduce a legislative bill that will require banks to employ decision makers who will be based in the state and will act as local representatives for lenders.

Meanwhile, lawyers who specialize in bank house foreclosures have stated that the main problem with Utah is that the state does not have specific laws with regards to foreclosure processing. They also stated that the drawn out process of mortgage modification hinders homeowners' abilities to fight for their properties.

Lawyers and homeowners stated that legislators need to shorten the loan modification procedure in Utah. They also supported the two legislators' focus on transparency within the mortgage industry, stating that the process of issuing the first filing to offering properties at Sheriff auctions should be made clearer to all parties involved.

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