New record set for metro Atlanta foreclosures

The foreclosure picture in metro Atlanta is getting worse.

The number of foreclosure notices in the 13-county region skyrocketed 59 percent in August from July, shattering the previous monthly record, according to data released Monday by Equity Depot.

Barry Bramlett

Barry Bramlett

“I will say the foreclosure crisis now is clearly a self-feeding monster,” Barry Bramlett, president of Alpharetta-based Equity Depot, said in an e-mail to the AJC. “People are underwater and clearly many are making the judgment that a credit hit is better than throwing money away they don’t feel they’ll recover.”

Bramlett said “this month’s totals are off the charts.”

There were 13,130 foreclosure notices published — up from 8,264 in July. The 59 percent increase is the largest monthly increase on record, Bramlett said. The number of foreclosure notices is 4.5 percent above the previous record set in March.

Some of the increase, perhaps about half of it, can be explained by the calendar, Bramlett said. Lenders had a longer period of time to prepare foreclosure ads than in the previous month. The foreclosure notices published in August are for auctions on the courthouse steps set for next month.

But the two records set in August indicate an intensifying problem, at least in the short-term. Bramlett cautioned, however, not to make too much of one month’s numbers.

“We may go down a similar percentage next month, but won’t know until we get there,” he said. “This month could just be an unexplained anomaly. No way to know until next month.”

Still, over the first eight months of the year, there were about 7,000 more notices published than during the same time last year — a record year.

The silver lining, Bramlett said, is that it’s a good time for cash buyers to pick up cheap properties. Many lenders have reduced the bid amount in auctions “far below the principal in hopes of selling,” Bramlett said.

For the fourth straight month, Gwinnett led the pack with 2,733 notices. Fulton, which often trades places with Gwinnett, came in second again with 2,518. DeKalb was third (2,031), followed by Cobb (1,513) and Clayton (1,067).

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127 comments Add your comment

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Grady Jackson *Barber Shop*

August 16th, 2010
5:39 am

*
Thanks so much for the great recession and the bail-outs,

…………………………….. Ex-President George W. Bush.
*

Destin Dawg

August 16th, 2010
5:39 am

Bottom feeders can pick up great deals…. just pay cash $$$.. no financing at all or at 50%+ down.. expect to hold a while.. don.t count on big rental income… recession rinds on… maybe farm land, a safe & a gun… canned goods bottle water..

Used to be Disgusted

August 16th, 2010
5:41 am

Everybody keep voting republican so that we can continue to have record foreclosures and protect the wealthy all at the same time.

Deal or no Deal?

Destin Dawg

August 16th, 2010
5:45 am

don’t blaim it on Bush.. they’re all scum bags!!! until term limits, tort reform, simplified flat/fair tax, nothing changes VOTE “em ALL out !!!

Destin Dawg

August 16th, 2010
5:52 am

All laws and taxes ( soc. security , medical. etc) that apply to citizens MUST apply equally to all Gov’t… Congress etc.. !!!!!!!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Shea

August 16th, 2010
6:02 am

This is such a sad demise. The banks are dragging their feet and not working with individuals on modifications. I started a modification process on “08/24/09″ and my modification was just approved “07/30/10″……..WHAT THE HELL KIND OD SENSE DOES THAT MAKE????

These banks try to be so greedy by taking over companies that have been shut down by the Feds, then they don’t have the manpower to handle the infux. Unfortunately, I can really see how some people just walk away from their homes. I even had to end up driving 6 hours away to meet face to face with a “Bank of America” representative, and for the life of me, I have yet to figure out, what I accomplished in a matter of 3 hours, why it took 9 months, TOTALLY SENSELESS…..

jeff

August 16th, 2010
6:18 am

Ignorant people blame it on Bush. Sure, he didnt help the situation but where is the outcry against Clinton who actually signed the bill to allow the subprime mortgages. And Obama was right there with Bush on the bailouts, and in fact outspent Bush (using your tax dollars…assuming you even pay taxes). Either way, its up to Barry to put an end to it and all he seems to want to do is spend more. Lots of blame to go around, but putting it all on Bush is just plain ignorant!

Destin Dawg

August 16th, 2010
6:24 am

Jeff is 100% correct !!

Mike Jones

August 16th, 2010
6:35 am

“Change you can believe in”

Section 8 = Entitlement

August 16th, 2010
6:36 am

Uh, Shea, it would have been MUCH better if you hadn’t taken a mortgage that you had no chance to pay in the first place.

John Galt Jr.

August 16th, 2010
6:43 am

Voting Republican? What the hell does 1) Georgia’s governor have to do with this? HE CANNOT HELP THIS ONE BIT. Idiot. 2) This was a Washington DC Democratic Party, put every loser in a house meltdown. Dodd, Frank, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. 3) I own 7 houses, still have very nice fixed rate mortgages, NEVER been one day late on any of them, they are all rented, great tenants that pay on time, run my business like a business. Most people got into trouble because their wants were bigger than they could pay for.

Roark

August 16th, 2010
6:55 am

Yeah,maybe there are a lot of people who shouldn’t have gotten a loan to begin with.I’ve always been able to pay my mortgage but the construction industry has killed me.My stuff is in storage,I’m going bankrupt,foreclosing and still no prospects.I’m nearly at the end of my rope.I really can’t understand why more folks aren’t using random gunplay as a release.

lizinsarasota

August 16th, 2010
7:01 am

Oh, there’s more great news. My little street is a microcosm of the joy that might be coming to your neighborhood as foreclosures escalate. I live in the “West of Trail” neighborhood, the gold standard of mainland Sarasota, within walking distance to the best hospital and best elementary school in the city. In 1999, when I moved back here from Atlanta, my street was nearly 100% owner occupied. Today there are 6 owner occupied homes and 17 that are rentals or vacant. The “investors” are sticking any warm bodies they can find into these homes, and now there are three cars in driveways and cars and trucks spill out into the street. We had a meth lab busted last year down the street, and the owners (who live in Hawaii) didn’t bother to fix the place where the police broke through the door for nearly 6 months. The “investors” who rent out their property three houses away from me – a “private wealth manager” in San Francisco – have allowed their tenants to cut the grass an average of once every couple months, their dog and cat roam unrestrained around the neighborhood, they let their trash blow all over the place, and the renters have screaming matches that end up outside with the police called. I have repeatedly called the investor’s wife about their tenants – she could care less. While I was trying to sell my house in 2007 the renters in the house across the street – which was one of the first houses to go through foreclosure – parked a tow truck on their lawn, hung their children’s underwear on the railing in front of the front door, and kept a partially inflated kiddie pool on the driveway. That house has changed hands at least twice in the past couple years, and averages three tenants a year. The people before the people before the current crop of renters were drug dealers out of S. Carolina. The renters there now have parties that start at 2 and go on until about 4 am; the police have been called to break up their parties five times in the past 3 months. Another renter six houses down goes out of town and leaves his dog to howl all night, so Animal Control is out regularly. I’m constantly badgering the owner of the house next to mine to cut his grass – he lets it go for months on end, and we’re starting to see big, fat rats. Down the street there’s a “bank owned” property – do you think we can get them to cut the grass? Dream on.
What do you think this is doing to my property’s value? I might not be underwater, but if I get that way and/or I lose my house some investor will swoop in and the cycle will continue, and my neighborhood will continue to deteriorate.
Two things are happening. Regular people are seeing their dreams of being homeowners evaporate, and with their dreams go the prospect of being truly “middle class.” Wealthy people, on the other hand, are consolidating their position by scooping up homes for practically nothing and renting them out to any tom, dick, or hairy dick that comes along. The hairy dicks don’t care, the wealthy, chicklet-teethed, Mercedes-driving “investors” don’t care, and the people caught in the middle are left holding the bag, while the values of our properties deteriorate because we care – but no one else does.
Say what you like, but this is the banks’ fault. First they spread their legs wide so they could accommodate all comers, and now they’ve got them crossed as tightly as any born-again virgin you’d care to see.
Meanwhile, the gap between the haves and have nots continues to widen.

Responsible One

August 16th, 2010
7:02 am

How about for once we put some of the blame on the individuals that took out these loans? Yes there are greedy and crooked lenders and yes our government had a huge role in warping the mortgage market through Fannie and Freddie and regulation designed to increase home ownership. However, I have never, never, never, seen or heard of anyone that was forced to take out a mortgage they couldn’t afford or run up credit card debt or auto loans, etc. The problem is that so many of us want it ALL NOW we aren’t willing to make any sacrifices or have to wait to live the ‘good life.’ So if you are in a tough financial situation look in the mirror before you blame anyone else – the chances are good that you at least share the blame and most likely are the primary cause of your problems.

Katz P Ajamas

August 16th, 2010
7:04 am

Why not take money from fiscally conservative citizens like me and give it to the banks so they can forgive all these mortgages? I’m all for it. However, I’m gonna want the big house and new car that I am bailing out. The “owner” can move into my crappy apartment.

Katz P Ajamas

August 16th, 2010
7:06 am

Wait a minute…bad idea…trading crack head neighbors for meth head neighbors.

John Galt Jr.

August 16th, 2010
7:06 am

I am an investor that checks his properties DAILY. You would never know my tenants did not own the homes. I have seen just as many sorry ass homeowners as I have renters. Losers are losers whether they rent or own. Now, I am off to work in my old ass truck. Have to make my own mortgage.

Dave from GT

August 16th, 2010
7:07 am

Dou you thind the property taxes will go down accordingly?

TnGelding

August 16th, 2010
7:11 am

Woe is me. Total insanity. Capitalism sucks. Greed rules. Deadbeat mortgagors. Come on folks, you signed on the dotted line. Make those mortgage payments!

TnGelding

August 16th, 2010
7:14 am

The rich get richer, assuming the housing market recovers.

yeti

August 16th, 2010
7:16 am

We are feeling the hangover from people living well beyond their means. Our economy was over inflated for the past 20 years and now it is deflating. People thought they were entitled to live in a big house, drive a nice car, and own nice clothes. Well your not.
Now you have people saying the bank should work with people to “help” people out. How about buying a house you could afford to begin with.

sam

August 16th, 2010
7:18 am

People are letting off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac way too easily. They are both a bunch of criminals. They’re the ones that pushed the crooked mortgages to people that couldn’t afford them. And Bush encouraged these actions for 8 years and even gave a speech about the ‘ownership society’ in which he pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to package these crooked mortgages to minorities.

The Truth

August 16th, 2010
7:20 am

Resposible One…. It’s easy to place blame with the folks who took out these loans, except if you lost your job! Until you know the facts, you should be a litle more understanding of people.

Jimmy

August 16th, 2010
7:25 am

As someone close to the banking industry and the loss mitigation process, I can definitely say that most people have no idea what their real financial burdens are. Auto loans, credit cards, and just plain consumer spending of cash are the real culprits here. I have look at so many applications for modifications where a customer has a $1000 house payment they say they can’t afford, but have a $650 car payment that is current, $500 more in credit card payments, and according to their bank statements, haven’t cut back on dinners out, nail salons, & clothes shopping. When asked if they have contacted Consumer Credit Counseling or their other lenders about possible term adjustments, they act like I just asked them to jump off a building. Not to mention the fact that it’s like pulling teeth just to get people to send us the necessary documents to even process a decision on a modification.
People’s mortgage is just one thing in their whole financial picture, although it is usually the largest single payment, everything else adds up too. It takes personal responsibility to make it through tough times and this “the government will save me/give me my handout” way of thinking is really hurting the country. The people who’s mortgage payments are not proportionate to their income (over 31% of gross income) will easily qualify for a modification. Those who’s mortgage payments are already less than 31% need to to action to fix whatever their real problem is.
Now, if it’s something beyond their control (medical, other unforeseen events), then we will continue to work with them & try to work out an option, but demanding a 2%, 40 year mortgage is unrealistic for a short term cash strap. In short, if consumers take a step back and look at their whole financial situation, there are other ways to cut budget costs and keep their home. It’s just the attitude that “I’m going to keep on living like I want to and my mortgage company will fix my budget” mentality is what got everyone into this situation in the first place. Although it used to be refinances for consolidations and cash out.

lizinsarasota

August 16th, 2010
7:26 am

The onus is and should remain on the banks that funded the people who a) didn’t have the financial chops to pay, and/or b) on hyperinflated properties. The banks failed themselves, they failed their borrowers, they failed all of us by opening the barn door too wide. They are the gatekeepers to the money, they have a fiduciary duty to make sound business decisions with their investors’ money. You say that “no one was forcing these people to take out these loans” – I say no one was forcing the banks to make the loans in the first place.
That said, we’re all one serious accident or illness away from bankruptcy. Unless, of course, you’re a cocaine-trafficking illegal alien from Cuba with the smarts to have stroke in Douglas County. Now there’s $400,000 that could have been put to better use!
http://www.ajc.com/news/illegal-immigrant-costs-county-591692.html

A.S.Mathew

August 16th, 2010
7:26 am

The Banks have no mercy to anybody, Probably, more banks may be failed along with the
massive foreclosures. The interest rates are the lowest, but the banks are trying to charge
exorbitant interest rates on the helpless customers.

Motocross Survivor

August 16th, 2010
7:27 am

Any wonder the wonderful Black Mecca keeps setting such records?

Just Curious

August 16th, 2010
7:29 am

How many of the foreclosures were owner occupied? I know of two individual investors in my area with multiple properties they rented to anyone who could pay them. Now the renter pool is drying up and one of the investors has lost 5(five) of his properites to foreclosures. The other investor or slum lord has lost 2(two). So I wonder how accurate is the “Home Owner’ foresclosure information.

Section 8 = Entitlement

August 16th, 2010
7:30 am

“lizinsarasota”
Yeah, it’s too bad these “homeowners” wanted it all sooooooooo bad that they didn’t bother to read the damn mortgage. Too Stoopid to freakin read.
Yes, the ones writing these bogus mortgages were also at fault. They had the commmissions rolling in from sales in neighborhoods like your precious one. Do you really think there was anything keeping them from doing just that. You would have done the same thing.
PT Barnum: There is a sucker born every minute.

yeti

August 16th, 2010
7:35 am

The Truth- You should take “losing your job” into account before buying a house. I know there are some circumstances where losing a job will cause you to lose your house, but to many people could not even withstand short-term unemployment.

Corey

August 16th, 2010
7:39 am

Let’s put blame where blames lies – Wall St. and our voracious appetite for ingesting the myth that we can have anything we want because a one dollar can stretched to make five.

Douglas

August 16th, 2010
7:40 am

You have to be kidding about it being the banks fault. If my neighbors leave their doors unlocked, and I go over and take all their possessions while they are gone, then by your logic it is their fault for leaving their doors locked. At what point do you suggest that people take responsibility for their own actions?

Randy

August 16th, 2010
7:40 am

Isn’t this Great News!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s vote Ostupid in again!!!!!!!!!!!! then some more of us can lose our homes due to his views of socialism. Then pretty soon all of us will be on equal footing (nobody will own their homes) Yes…….. what a great leader he has turned out to be the most vacations of any president in history and hasn’t even finished his first term.

Typical democrat

lizinsarasota

August 16th, 2010
7:42 am

Excuse me, Section 8 – don’t put words in my mouth. Just because the world might be full of suckers and stupid people doesn’t make it right to screw them to the wall. In a contest between stupid versus greedy I side with the stupid against the greedy. Every time.
Banks are in the business of making smart investments. They are supposed to evaluate the reward and risk and plan accordingly. You say people shouldn’t have bought into these 0% down (or whatever come on, teaser was offered) mortgages, I say they never should have been offered at all.

Douglas

August 16th, 2010
7:43 am

EricMann

August 16th, 2010
7:48 am

When I purchased my house it was worth a whopping, 155,000 dollars, now it’s valued by the bank, at about 112,000 dollars. My property taxes and insurance have went up tremndously, in the last couple of years (3) to be exact! To top it off my weekly pay check has went down, about 10%, I have cut back, no cable, etc… and I honestly, don’t see it getting better. If I knew now what I know, I would say this HOME OWNERSHIP TODAY IS HIGHLY OVERATED! Don’t buy one, they are’nt worth the hassle, insurance, taxes, or do they have any any value at all. Rent yourself a nice condo, apartment, put your money into some type of retirement account. As far, as Bush goes, he’s not hurting, neither is Obama, he is spending, money faster than even Bush is. The state of this economy is awful, SO don’t look for it to improve anytime son! It was once great to be an american, not so much anymore! What a shame…

Section 8 = Entitlement

August 16th, 2010
7:51 am

“lizinsarasota”
So, you side with the stupid, huh? Well, let’s just let you pay for this mess. Me, and many like me, actually knew exactly what kind of mortgage we were agreeing to. We also did un-stupid things like ask questions, walk out on any “no money down” offerings, and actually have the means to PAY FOR IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!
Sorry your previous neighbors apparently, did none of those things.

Rodriguez

August 16th, 2010
7:54 am

Looks like the Obama economic policy of “Blame Bush” isn’t doing too well so far.

typical stupid republican

August 16th, 2010
7:57 am

Ah, Randy, you might want to do a fact check about the most absent President in US history. Hint, his nickname is W.

To That Clueless Guy...

August 16th, 2010
8:00 am

This is in response to “Section8=Entitlement” who wrote (in ignorance): “Uh, Shea, it would have been MUCH better if you hadn’t taken a mortgage that you had no chance to pay in the first place.”

I’m in the same boat as Shea. Had an excellent job and could afford my home probably even moreso than YOU can afford yours. With an excellent income as a homebuilder/supervisor, I bought a home that was well BELOW what I could afford. Then the bottom fell out of the homebuilding industry. No one could foresee that. I’ve been out of work now for 18 months and had a frustrating run with Bank of America regarding a loan modification.

I want nothing GIVEN to me. I expect to pay my mortgage in full, and I will. What would happen to YOU, Mr. KnowItAll, if you suddenly lost your income and had no way to pay a mortgage payment? Should we condemn you for buying a home you “couldn’t pay for in the first place?”

You are just plain stupid. Please have an original thought and stop repeating what you hear without analyzing the logic first.

TG

August 16th, 2010
8:00 am

To Shea. I’m glad to hear the bank finally worked out a deal with you BUT honestly WHY did they have too. YOU signed a mortgage that you couldn’t pay for any more. So people like you blame the banks. Well it’s people like you who think they always need a break and people like me who live within their means and pay all of their bills ontime. I would love to see your total “picture in life”. Let me guess, you drive a nice car, you have flat screen tv’s, you smoke, you go out dinner 3 to 4 times a weeks, you get your nails done, you have a cell phone, you have cable etc etc etc. Did you EVER think about cutting back and selling stuff to make your mortage payment in the first place. Oh here is a thought….get a second job even a third if needed. The lesson in life is take responsibility and live within you means.

skeet

August 16th, 2010
8:01 am

Broke people should not have been allowed to buy houses. Loose lending standards is the root cause for this.

WTF?

August 16th, 2010
8:02 am

So many simple minded people posting their thoughts here. The reason foreclosures are jumping up is that the banks that have been hiding these pending foreclosures to keep their stock prices from falling and keeping their profit margins falsely bumped up, can no longer keep hiding everything bad. You are going to start seeing a wave of foreclosures that will look like a tsunami sweeping across the USA. Along with it will go the stock market, bank stocks, home builders, the dollar, jobs, etc. The Feds will do nothing about it other than pump more cash into the near failing big banks that caused this mess in the first place. Stop saying the rich get richer and start your own business, go back to school, do something for yourself other than badmouth others. If you must be greedy and step on people to get rich, do it and stop blaming the rich. Join them.

Section 8 = Entitlement

August 16th, 2010
8:03 am

“lizinsarasota”
By your moronic logic, if someone offers to sell you a big bridge in New York, cheap, sight unseen, and you buy it. Then, because you have been stupid, “we, the ones that would NEVER buy such a bridge, you know, the smart ones”, should pay for your stinking bridge.

lizinsarasota

August 16th, 2010
8:07 am

Well, buddy, let me repeat – if you’re going to quote me, quote me right. I didn’t say I side with the stupid, I said I side with stupid against greedy, just like I side with weak versus strong. Smart, educated people have a duty to their stupid, weak brethren.
I believe the bankers should have regulated themselves, just like I think the absentee owners on my street should insist their tenants keep their lawns mowed. I blame the owners, not the tenants – the owners have the ultimate responsibility, not the tenants. The owners set the standards.
When a car maker issues a recall, do you blame the buyers for the recall and believe they should be on the hook for the repairs necessary to make their cars safe?
Bankers have a fiduciary duty to their clients, no matter what Congress might say. You should be able to go to a banker and not be worried that you are going to get screwed. Whenever you are paying someone for their services you have a right to expect they aren’t going to screw you over. I go to an “investment counselor” and I don’t expect they’ll steer me into a “vehicle” where they’ve got a direct financial interest. I go to a doctor, pay him/her for a consultation, and I don’t expect he/she is pushing some unnecessary device on me because they are getting a kickback. I pay a taxi, I don’t expect they’re going to take me the long way around, even if I am from out of town and don’t know any better. I go to a contractor, and I don’t expect that they’ll sell me shoddy drywall, or install plated brass, when I’m paying for solid. I mean, I wouldn’t know the difference, so would it be my fault if you installed plated brass, even if I’m paying for solid?
So, is your business model to screw your customers/clients?

Section 8 = Entitlement

August 16th, 2010
8:10 am

“To That Clueless Guy…”
No one could forsee, huh? Well, apparently at least one of us (me) could see that these mortgage vehicles were unsustainable and amounted to a house of cards.
Also, “home building” a house of cards works the same way. Sounds like you got burned making the easy money, until the well runs dry, and you now want to blame every one else but your choices in life.