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Foreclosure crisis deepens, despite earlier optimism

Published: Sat, February 27, 2010 @ 8:09 p.m.

Local, state and national foreclosure statistics back up what many of us could sense about the number of homes falling to foreclosure last year: The problem got worse.

2006 was the worst year the Mahoning Valley has had for foreclosures, with the rate rising more than 30 percent in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

There were hopeful signs in 2007 and 2008, as the foreclosure numbers eased.

All that changed, however, when the national economy soured part way through 2008, setting up a 2009 that forced foreclosure rates to rise 4 percent in Ohio, 9 percent in Trumbull County, 10 percent in Columbiana County and 21 percent across the nation.

Mahoning County’s foreclosure rate was the exception, dropping 5 percent.

Richard Cordray, Ohio attorney general, came to the Mahoning Valley in late 2007 when he was Ohio treasurer and the foreclosure rate was on its way down.

He even predicted that the foreclosure crisis would abate by 2009 or 2010.

“Without the recession, we would have seen it decline,” he said in a recent interview.

Cordray now says Ohio’s foreclosure problems are likely to continue, with Ohio’s record number of foreclosures in 2009 — 3.8 percent higher than in 2008 — likely to grow even more in 2010.

Read more in Sunday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com


1Springman(235 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

"Face it, the region can't attract people. People leave the region each and every day for better opportunities elsewhere."

1. In places like New York, Washington, Boston, etc. people on a fixed income pay 10 times more in rents than for comparable properties in Youngstown...and in New Castle, Sharon, Warren, ertc., rents are even lower. If people in high rent areas of the country do not have to work, there are deals to be had.

If economics were a science, the law of allocation of resources and economic necessity would move people who can benefit economically to the valley. However, it takes advertising and education to let people know that good deals are available.

2. What are the statistics on bankruptcy on these foreclosures? Are the borrowers absolved of debt? Are the lenders held partly liable? What is the rate of liquidation? Can a bankruptcy court place an accurate value on the properties?

3."In Youngstown they were giving out $50K loans on houses that were worth $20K. In the suburbs, $100K loans on places worth $50K, $200K loans on places worth $100K. People with bad credit were being given loans. What did they think was going to happen? "

I'd bet that most foreclosures are caused by people losing their jobs.

I'd bet that more people file for bankruptcy due to inability to pay medical costs due to loss of insurance or because their insurance didn't cover than from predatory lending.

At the same time, the people and institutions who made bad loans knowing that the properties weren't worth the mortgage value are criminals. Many of them have assets that can fund low interest loans to victims.

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2atek101(77 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree, Springman. I've done a lot of work with vacant foreclosed properties through my neighborhood association in Youngstown and it seems to me most of the houses that are actually in foreclosure, vacant, and blighted are owned by shady banks with questionable histories. One such bank that owns a few houses in my neighborhood got in trouble with the FDIC for questionable lending practices last year, and another was actually notorious for such practices nationally.

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3tonysprout(3 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

When you can't sell your house, the real estate value is nil, yet gov't continues to spend and plan as if the real estate market were at its height. Time to drop property taxes by 75% if we want to draw peole here, as well as giving those behind in taxes a break. This area, controlled by the so-called compasssionate democrats, shows just how compasssionate democrats are when it comes to collecting taxes from the under and un-employed.

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4Springman(235 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

"Time to drop property taxes by 75%"

Mahoning County has the potential to develop enough in gas revenues to pay everyone's tax. The Marcellus Shale find is purportedly the largest energy reservoir in the history of this country.

If I were king, I'd check it out.

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