The foreclosure problem in metro Atlanta continued to mount in October.
There was an 11 percent increase in foreclosure notices compared with September and a 16 percent rise compared with October of last year, according to data released Monday by Equity Depot.
The foreclosure notices published this month — 11,070 — are for auctions on the courthouse steps scheduled for next month.
But potential flaws in foreclosure documents are threatening to throw the real estate industry into a crisis, as Bank of America on Friday became the first bank to stop sales of foreclosed homes in all 50 states, Associated Press reported.
Up until B of A’s action, flawed documents (papers signed without being read) had stopped some foreclosures in the 23 states that have procedures requiring judicial approval. But Georgia is not one of those states.
With B of A expanding its action to all states, it is unclear how will it affect foreclosures here.
“Only time will tell if they go ahead with sales and continue to advertise foreclosures next month,” Barry Bramlett, president of Alpharetta-based Equity Depot, said in a statement.
B of A’s action raises several questions, including whether more banks will follow and whether lenders will be more open to negotiating with delinquent borrowers before initiating foreclosure procedures.
Meanwhile, attorneys general for about 40 states have been talking about taking legal action against lenders because of the flawed documents. And Congress is looking into the issue, as is the Obama administration.
In the metro area, Gwinnett had the most foreclosure notices this month with 2,369. Fulton was second with 1,964, followed by DeKalb with 1,787. Cobb was next with 1,358, followed by Clayton with 911.
For the first 10 months of the year, foreclosure notices in the metro area are up 6 percent from the same period last year, Equity Depot data show. If this year’s pace continues, it will break last year’s record of 117,107 notices.
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