Foreclosure notices in metro Atlanta rose 16 percent in August from July, according to Equity Depot data released Monday. But notices in the 13-county metro area were down 24 percent from a year ago.
A “remarkable percentage” of the August notices — 68 percent — affect repeat properties that were advertised previously, but then pulled back from foreclosure, said Barry Bramlett, president of Kennesaw-based Equity Depot. Sometimes, homeowners get a reprieve from lenders, but then become delinquent again.
Bramlett said that aside from the poor economy and job market, many properties in the process of foreclosure are worth less than the value of the outstanding mortgage. For example, of the 5,386 properties advertised for foreclosure this month in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton, the mortgage is greater than the tax appraised value on 65 percent of them, Bramlett said.
In such a situation, some homeowners apparently conclude it does not make sense for them to continue paying.
The rise in notices from July to August was expected because the calendar gave lenders a longer time this month to prepare ads for foreclosure. Notices published this month are for foreclosures on the courthouse steps set for next month.
For the first eight months of the year, notices are down 9 percent from the same time last year, which set a record. It is unclear how delays in mortgage processing stemming from the industry’s well-publicized problems with flawed documents are affecting the totals.
Among the core metro counties, Gwinnett led the pack for the 16th straight month with 2,108 notices. Fulton, traditionally in second place, had 1,765 notices, followed by DeKalb (1,560), Cobb (1,181) and Clayton (880).
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
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