Newly released data compiled by ForeclosuresWI.com, a leading provider of Wisconsin foreclosure resources and statistics, suggests that Wisconsin foreclosures remain at escalated levels.
After rising 34 percent in 2006, Wisconsin as a whole had 7,697 foreclosure filingsin the first five months of 2007, which on average, equates to nearly 73 foreclosures filed every business day. While May 2007 YTD Wisconsin foreclosure filings were up over 21 percent compared to May YTD 2006, May 2007 filings dipped nearly 3 percent from April.
Dane County saw its foreclosure rate climb 11 percent during the first five months of this year, compared to the same period in 2006. Some 322 were filed this year through May, up from 290 last year in the same period last year.
More than double the statewide average increase, Milwaukee County foreclosure filings are nearly 45 percent higher compared to the first five months of 2006.
In addition, Waukesha County increased 52 percent compared to prior year, and Walworth increased 68 percent. While 72 percent of Wisconsin counties had more year-to-date foreclosure filings in 2007 than 2006, 5 percent had the same amount of filings, and 23 percent had fewer filings.
Robert Jansen, President of ForeclosuresWI.com, continues to see several contributing factors driving the increased foreclosure filings. Consistent with the growing number of mortgage defaults nationwide, a mix of rising interest rates and a softening housing market, along with the underlying dynamics of the subprime mortgage market, have forced many homeowners into foreclosure.
Increased interest rates, compounded by adjustable-rate and exoticmortgages, have caused staggering increases to many homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments. Furthermore, the cooling of the housing market andoverall increase in the number of homes on the market has made it moredifficult for those facing financial trouble to quickly sell their home toavoid foreclosure.
In addition, the slow down in appreciation has also taken away many homeowners’ safety nets. In the past, many homeowners have used equity gained from appreciation to pay down overwhelming revolving and installment payments in an attempt to make their monthly payments affordable again.
Furthermore, the subprime lenders that originally provided home loans tomany people with less than perfect credit are now tightening their lending standards in the wake of the skyrocketing mortgage defaults nationwide.
This eliminates many refinancing options for those in trouble.
Jansen, whose company also provides foreclosure listings to homebuyers, investors, and real estate professionals, says many more people are nowrecognizing the opportunity foreclosures offer.
Homebuyers and investors are able to purchase a foreclosed property below market value,while also helping the homeowner save equity and avoid further damage to their credit by selling their property before it goes to auction. Realtors are able to identify and contact homeowners in danger of foreclosure to help them sell their home quickly.
For more information and foreclosure resources, visit the ForeclosureWI.comlearning center at www.foreclosureswi.com.