2020 began, as most years do, with a continued expectation of strengthening Real Estate sales. While the season for Real Estate shopping has expanded to include Winter months, Spring still boasts the strongest real estate buying season. And with Spring, came a pandemic lockdown.
Meanwhile, the PRNewswire.com foreclosure forecast for 2020 shows that foreclosures had already begun to rise in the third quarter of 2019 in some states, such as Montana, Georgia, Washington, Louisiana and Michigan. Before you exhale your sigh of relief if your state is not on that list, know that some metropolitan areas outside of those states still experienced rising foreclosures during the same third quarter of 2019. In Atlanta, GA foreclosures were up 37%. In Columbus, OH foreclosures rose 27%. In San Antonio, TX foreclosures grew 24% and in Portland, OR they climbed 22%.
Really, the bottom line here, is that some areas of the country are still in distress, and the current pandemic, even with much of the foreclosure process frozen, will eventually result in a growth of foreclosures. Lenders and banks, as they did in 2009 through 2016, will work with borrowers to work out an affordable solution. This does not mean you don’t need to pay your mortgage. It means you should reach out to your lender if you are in financial distress, either as caused by the pandemic or by other life events. Explain whether your financial challenges are temporary or permanent, and what you are asking the lender to do.
The lender may offer a lower payment until you can get back to regular paychecks, or the lender may defer your payment obligations. No, they do not go away, but you may have a temporary reprieve. If you cannot demonstrate your loss of income, or your loan was not a government loan, you may want to hire an attorney experienced in foreclosure defense, who knows how to work out solutions with lenders. Wrongfullyforeclosed.com can connect you to an attorney in one of several states; an attorney who, if hired, can explain your options as they represent your interest in your home.