WisBusiness: State foreclosure rate remains high


Wisconsin foreclosure filings continue at escalated levels, according to newly released data compiled by ForeclosuresWI.com.

Badger State foreclosures in February totalled 2,800 and were up 34 percent over the same month in 2007, the company said. They have increased 70 percent over the last three years, rising from 12,311 in 2005 to 20,995 in 2007.

“These numbers are staggering,” said Robert Jansen, president of ForeclosuresWI.com.

“We expect foreclosures to remain at escalated levels well into 2008, with some experts not predicting a housing market recovery until 2010.” said Jansen.

Leading the state in the number of February filings, Milwaukee County foreclosures are over 33 percent higher compared to February 2007 (525 vs.393).

Jansen said he sees several contributing factors driving these trends.

“Consistent with the record number of mortgage defaults nationwide, a mix of adjustable rate mortgage resets, a soft housing market, and the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, have forced many more homeowners into foreclosure.”

”Adjustable-rate and exotic/subprime mortgage rate resets continue to result in significant increases to many homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments. Furthermore, the cooling of the housing market and overall increase in the number of homes on the market has made it more difficult for those facing financial trouble to quickly sell their home to avoid foreclosure.

“Compounding the issue, many lenders have tightened lending standards in the wake of subprime mortgage crisis and skyrocketing mortgage defaults, which eliminates many refinancing options for those in trouble. Amidst this situation, the U.S. government continues to struggle to agree on the proper course of action.