National Short Sale Center, which helps homeowners negotiate the sale of their homes for less than what they owe their bank, says the country is due to experience record-setting amounts of foreclosures in the second quarter of 2009. The company is predicting a first-ever quarter with more than one million foreclosure filings, up from the first quarter’s 803,489 filings.
Federal legislation implemented a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and many banks agreed to their own foreclosure freezes for the holidays, but those are being lifted and the continued economic slump means that many Americans continue to struggle with their mortgages. After a 10 percent decrease in foreclosures for January, foreclosure activity across the nation increased 6 percent in February.
Foreclosure filings the first quarter of 2009—default notices, auction sale notices, and bank repossessions—increased 9% over the previous quarter and almost 24% increase over the first quarter of 2008. “A tsunami of foreclosures and bank-owned properties are hitting the market in the second quarter.”,” said Matt McCabe, chief operating officer of National Short Sale Center.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.