The buried lede – at least as far as this state is concerned – in the new housing report by RealtyTrac:
Georgia leapfrogged past Arizona, Florida, California and Nevada to post the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in May, the first time since February 2006 that Georgia’s foreclosure rate has ranked highest among the states.
Banks have opened foreclosure actions on one in every 300 homes here. If you’re looking for impact, cast your eyes no further than the DeKalb County school board, which is still struggling with plummeting property taxes. More context from the Associated Press:
LOS ANGELES — Lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against more U.S. homeowners in May, setting the stage for increases in home repossessions and short sales – scenarios that could further weigh down home values in coming months.
Default or scheduled-home-auction notices were filed for the first time against 109,051 homes last month. That’s an increase of 12 percent from April and up 16 percent versus May last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
The firm monitors documents filed on properties with mortgages that have gone unpaid. Once that process begins, homes can end up foreclosed-upon, sold at auction or via a short sale. A short sale is when the bank agrees to accept less than what the borrower owes on their mortgage.
May was the first month since January 2010 that the number of homes starting on the foreclosure path rose on an annual basis. But the trend has been visible in the monthly numbers, with four out of the first five months of this year recording increases over the preceding month.
Paul Yates over at Fox5 last night unveiled a new InsiderAdvantage poll that shows the supporters of a penny sales tax for transportation in metro Atlanta still have an uphill swim:
[M]ost people oppose the penny sales tax referendum, with 47 percent saying they plan to vote against it, 32 percent said they are in favor of it and 21 percent remaining undecided….
More than 60 percent of Republicans said they were opposed to the tax, according to the InsiderAdvantage poll.
Says InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery:
“This is not the death of the effort. But the poll shows no single demographic currently favoring by over 50%. African Americans are split; Democrats are split, with Republicans and independent voters heavily opposed at this time.”
Down on the coast, Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News reports that state lawmakers from Chatham County did about $6.5 million worth of business with the state last year:
The money was for treatment or medicine provided under Medicaid, a state-federal health care subsidy program.
As in recent years, the top recipient of state money was a company headed by Rep. Craig Gordon, D-Savannah, CEO of Statewide Healthcare. The Savannah Democrat reported receipts totaling more than $4.6 million to his Savannah-based firm, which provides in-home care.
The next highest recipient was Rep. Ron Stephens, a pharmacist and Savannah Republican who was paid about $1.35 million.
Just in case you’d started feeling really satisfied with U.S. draw-downs in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the Washington Post:
The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorist hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator, according to documents and people involved in the project.
At the heart of the surveillance operations are small, unarmed turboprop aircraft disguised as private planes. Equipped with hidden sensors that can record full-motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up radio and cellphone signals, the planes refuel on isolated airstrips favored by African bush pilots, extending their effective flight range by thousands of miles.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider