Your morning jolt: Georgia jumps to national lead in foreclosure rates

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

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

47 comments Add your comment

Tom

June 14th, 2012
9:40 am

Things are tough all over when Matt Towery needs to buy a vowel.

Bobby

June 14th, 2012
9:48 am

Of course Georgia leads in foreclosure rates. Our Georgia legislature permits non-judicial foreclosures. We have such a corrupt legislature why would we not be first in foreclosures. And that’s really ironic when you consider Georgia was founded as a state to protect debtors. Today, not so much. The Georgia legislature is the creditor’s friend. Consumers can go do something else with themselves.

Double Zero Eight

June 14th, 2012
9:49 am

It appears there is a correlation between
the bank failures and foreclosures in GA.

Ric

June 14th, 2012
9:57 am

Rep. Dar’Shun Kendrick introduced legislation earlier this year to reduce foreclosures, but it didn’t get any coverage on this blog.

Centrist

June 14th, 2012
9:58 am

Only a month or two ago, this blog said the T-SPLOST was popular and the opposition was disorganized.

I do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling now that the Washington Post reported on secret military information. I miss the historical days when the 4th estate was not traitorous.

honested

June 14th, 2012
10:05 am

Wouldn’t it be nice if the republican one party state takeover HAD NOT included repeal of Gov. Barnes carefully crafted legislation preventing predatory lending and therefore the later likelihood of foreclosure?

Bernie

June 14th, 2012
10:14 am

In the words of Mitt ” Business Man” Romney, let them all go Bankrupt and let the market sort those things out. Maybe those homeowners can cut a deal to “RENT” their homes from the mortgage holders.

For those Republican supporters of Mitt Romney who are faced with foreclosure
currently ,Maybe some of those Georgia Republican donors who recently donated to his campaign will give you a helping hand. Do not expect any help or assistance from the ” FLIP-FLOPPER BUSINESS MAN” at all.

J.G.

June 14th, 2012
10:16 am

I expect forclosures to increase across the country. The lenders have been allowed to hold the non-insured loans open on the books in some cases for over three years now. In other words, most of the foreclosures that have happened so far have been of loans that had government backed insurance, so that the taxpayers have been on the hook for whatever amounts were left after the property was seized and sold. And, guess what, even on those insured loans the lender can then sue the borrower to recover. Double dipping, anyone?

There is now a five year backlog of forclosures when the non-insured loans are taken into account.

yuzeyurbrane

June 14th, 2012
10:20 am

These folks ought to just sit down and work it out with their friendly bankers just like Nathan Deal, Tom Graves and Chip Rogers. They will work with you.

td

June 14th, 2012
10:37 am

It is common sense that a person making $30,000 per year can not afford a $200,000 house or a person making $50,000 per year can not afford a $400,000 home. It is also common sense that you do not take $40,000 equity out of your home to buy a new car or take that dream trip. There are to many people out there thinking they could and to many banks that gave them the loans. Now it is time to pay the piper for unwise decisions. Banks have failed left and right and now the people are going to have to rent for several years due to their greediness.

Auntie Christ

June 14th, 2012
10:38 am

the ‘center’ of the john birchers stated above: “I do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling now that the Washington Post reported on secret military information. I miss the historical days when the 4th estate was not traitorous.”

Right, because as citizens we have no right to know what OUR government is doing in OUR name. The pentagon always knows what’s best for us.

clyde

June 14th, 2012
10:42 am

As sad as foreclosures are,housing prices need to keep going down until they reach their real value.

How is it possible that so many people are undecided about a one cent tax increase????The answer is NO!

Yes.Africa is next.

WOW

June 14th, 2012
10:57 am

I think lighting is about to strike, I agree with TD’s entire post.

Real Athens

June 14th, 2012
10:58 am

It is my belief that this is the the proper way to conduct a “war on terror”. It is more of a police action, spy action.

Think of where this country might be now if we hadn’t wasted all the lives and money trying to shock and awe the world.

sam

June 14th, 2012
11:02 am

td has it right. Too many people bought way beyond their means and took out equity loans on delusional equity. Too many banks granted those loans. Now, they are facing a reality check. Love it. And hope those foreclosures, and all the rest get on with it, so we get back to true value. Maybe people won’t be so willing to take out pie in the sky loans in future.

Marlboro Man

June 14th, 2012
11:09 am

If tarp would have bailed out the homeowners, sooner or later the banks would have got the money, thats what banks do.

Road Scholar

June 14th, 2012
11:24 am

“Too many banks granted those loans. ”

As a kid, you want to eat the whole half gallon of ice cream or the whole box of chocolates. It’s the adults (banks) who must say no. They didn’t in the name of alleged huge profits…now we all pay the price. And don’t give me the crap that the Feds forced the banks to give the loans. I have not heard any reports of anyone complaining they didn’t get their loan when they had the means to pay for it!

Predatory Lender

June 14th, 2012
11:30 am

Dear Bobby,

Our foreclosures GA are high due to Uncle Fannie and Freddie. 100% LTV or higher financing, borrower’s with no skin in the game, is why we are in a pickle. Our courts are already tied up, would be even longer (PA is a good example), if we had a judicial foreclosure process…..Chapter 13 Bankruptcy already facilitates this process….would be terrible if changed our current process.

Sincerely,

P.L.

Marlboro Man

June 14th, 2012
11:31 am

What happened to PMI insurance, is/was that a scam ?

honested

June 14th, 2012
11:31 am

Real Athens,

Just think, had we not wasted the money on the Iraqi War of Choice, we may have started to ‘Change’ in 2004. What a brighter place the world might be today.

It is distressing that Panetta and Ms. Lindsey spent all day yesterday scratching each others backs pointing out that without some changes, ’sequestration’ would prevent continuation of the Most Expensive Military in the Universe!

honested

June 14th, 2012
11:35 am

While I agree that people ‘paid’ way too much for houses they couldn’t afford (and wouldn’t have been built but for lunacy in the builder lending market), think for a minute, with every foreclosure, the ‘value’ of the home you are sweating to pay for every day DROPS.

We can be all judgmental all day long, just accept that the future home sale you might have counted on to fund your retirement will never happen until home prices recover to at least 1999 levels.

Attack Dog

June 14th, 2012
11:35 am

1. When the debate was termed “Predatory Lending,” all Dixiecrats heard was Blacks yelling “racism” and ignored the root problem. 2. Underwriting loans at 10 times earnings is not about common sense in a free market, it’s business profit sense. 3. If I were a Dixiecrat, I would trust the people I elected to do the right fiscal thing. Core Atlanta is against T-SPLOST because they don’t trust Dixiecrats to do the right thing. Besides, Dixiecrats are the main ones who are stuck in traffic.

Marlboro Man

June 14th, 2012
11:44 am

Banks were great lending other peoples money, it appears.

double

June 14th, 2012
12:00 pm

First in bank failures,foreclosures. The correlation is the republican control.Ethics bureau destroyed.Elected reaping the harvest from medicaid/drugs/in home care.Need straddle fence politics.

Rick in Grayson

June 14th, 2012
12:01 pm

“What happened to PMI insurance, is/was that a scam ?”

PMI insurance was not a scam, but buyers took out a 2nd mortgage so they met the 20% down payment requirement.

Usually the 2nd mortgage was held by another lender who still wanted their loaned money back. They would hold up short sales because the lender in 1st position wanted all of the short sale money leaving the 2nd lien holder with nothing.

DannyX

June 14th, 2012
12:17 pm

Just remember folks…

“Countrywide is on your side.”

MrLiberty

June 14th, 2012
12:25 pm

The sooner the bad debt can be cleared from the market the sooner we will hit bottom and can begin to rise again on sound economic ground. Econ 101. The Federal Reserve-created housing bubble was destined to burst. Only one current presidential candidate predicted it, warned against it, and was completely ignored (Ron Paul of course). All of this “malinvestment” that was incentivized by artifically low interest rates must be cleaned from the market. Instead, the federal government and federal reserve are doing everything to continue to reinflate the bubble. The debt cannot be cleared and this depression, much like the last one, will drag on and on for many many more years because we are unwilling to let the market adjust as it is trying to.

I cannot speak to the actions of specific lenders. They certainly should suffer the consequences of their bad lending decisions as much as the borrowers for theirs. The government is instead making sure that the lenders are getting bailed out while the borrowers are getting the short end of the stick. Is that really any surprise to anyone? Did anyone actually think that Obama cared about the little guy when a huge chunk of his campaign contributions came from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, and big banking firms? Should anyone be surprised that most of that money is now flowing to Romney and that he will just do more of the same for his “friends” if he is elected??

The sooner we hit bottom the sooner we can recover. Those who were prudent, saved their money, and waited can now by houses for more affordable prices. Great for them.

And by the way, my house in DeKalb has lost tons of value and I too was stupid enough to buy near the top of the market. I still understand economics and know that the health of our economy is still more important than my selfish desires to see the housing bubble reinflated.

Centrist

June 14th, 2012
1:24 pm

MrLiberty posted “The sooner the bad debt can be cleared from the market the sooner we will hit bottom and can begin to rise again on sound economic ground. Econ 101.”

When we have a federal government passing out money to Wall Street and bankers after the fact with impunity who were allowed to create the economic disaster, what makes you think we will ever hit bottom and use sound economics? On top of that, the government is spending much more than it is taking in, piling on un-payable debt, and printing money without backing. Greece hasn’t hit bottom yet, so we have a lot more ugliness to go through.

Buying current votes is more important than sound economics, or worrying about the future.

GET REAL

June 14th, 2012
1:41 pm

Maybe we should wait and see what the Republican controlled legislature and Governor’s office will propose to fix Georgia’s lousy economy. Question: If Barak Obama is to blame for the crummy state of the national economy, isn’t it fair to say that both Sonny “Where’s Mine” Perdue and Nathan “I Can’t Manage A Dime” Deal should be blamed for Georgia’s crummy economy? Just asking !!!

WOW

June 14th, 2012
2:01 pm

@ Get Real

Great Point.

I would add that GA has a relatively (compared to other states) low unemployment rate, which is in part due to those dreaded stimulus dollars that saved thousands of those dreaded gov’t jobs (teachers, police officers, fire fighters). So maybe the President should get some credit for this.

Carole

June 14th, 2012
2:02 pm

td
It is common sense that a person making $30,000 per year can not afford a $200,000 house or a person making $50,000 per year can not afford a $400,000 home. It is also common sense that you do not take $40,000 equity out of your home to buy a new car or take that dream trip.
+++++++
If it was common sense then why did banks do it? Many of the people who purchased these homes had never done so. Just like with a personal or car loan, they expected the “expert” to let them know how much they qualified for. That’s how it had always been. You can afford XYZ. So when you went looking for a house that’s the range you looked in.

I have a friend who makes over $100,000. She contacted the bank about a loan. They told her they didn’t even need to verify her income. Whatever she told them it was they would accept. Thankfully, she was way to smart and honest to accept their terms.

Yeah, there were people who took advantage of the system, but there were a lot of realtors and bankers who made lots of money because people trusted them to know what they were doing.

Carole

June 14th, 2012
2:18 pm

Get Real
++++++
Come on now, you know that would be too much like right. Of course I’m sure they’ll take credit for the any good news.

DannyX

June 14th, 2012
2:24 pm

I went to the bank today to apply for one of those “Graves Rogers Loans.” I have to tell you, I was not impressed with the service. The loan officer asked me if I had collateral for the 2.1 million dollars I was asking for, I politely told him that the Graves Rogers loan didn’t require any collateral. He then asked how I intended to pay it back, by this time I was getting a little annoyed. “There is no way possible I would be able to pay it back,” I said now raising my voice. You would think the bank would understand the different types of loans.

He looked at me and laughed, “how do you expect banks to stay in business by giving out loans of this nature,” he said. Now I was just furious. “I don’t!!!” I screamed at him. “I want a Graves Rogers loan!!! How many times do I have to tell you????”

I was then rudely escorted out of the bank by security.

I’ll try another bank tomorrow.

Predatory Lender

June 14th, 2012
2:53 pm

Sounds like you should add “Balfour” to the Graves/Rogers Loan. If he had his way, no one would be responsible……SB 455, Small Business Protection Act? Right. Who would it protect? More like protecting Tom, Chip, Wayne Mason….so much for risk / reward….welcome to Socialism.

Centrist

June 14th, 2012
3:18 pm

Carole posted “If it was common sense then why did banks do it?”

Greed – it often trumps common sense. Like the dot-com bubble, bull stock market bubbles, etc. When things are going well, everyone gets on the train thinking it will never derail. If property values only go up, why worry about income or other collateral to pay for it? Our government bought into it as well as greedy bankers/ mortgage companies that only wanted to collect the origination and other fees associated with closing loans no matter how bad they were.

ALL bubbles eventually burst. Just like our current debt bubble will.

Eric

June 14th, 2012
4:02 pm

People say it’s a good time to buy. But the closing fees are staggering in light of the reduced value of the house, so why bother? So many documents, title searches, surveys, termite inspections, mold certificate, plus bank, attorney, and recording fees. If these costs are financed, as often they are, no wonder folks don’t have money for anything else.

william henry talbot walker

June 14th, 2012
4:07 pm

@Danny X
In case you do find a bank to grant you a “Graves Rogers Loan”, when it fails you always have the other option of a “Deal Bailout” – California porn distributors who are looking to acquire Georgia property at double the market value, but there might be strings attached.

Attack Dog

June 14th, 2012
4:22 pm

I chuckle every time a read or hear a Dixiecrat financial wizard reference the Wall Street bailout, mortgage crisis, and the lending freeze as if they were all one and the same. There was a reason that real fiscal conservatives fought against deregulation and blurring the definition lines between investment, mortgage, and commerical bankers. If everyone had common sense, and lived on principles, we wouldn’t have any need for regulations.

David

June 14th, 2012
4:33 pm

So for everyone on here bashing the idea of voting for Romney, do you then propose voting for Obama? Really? Can someone, anyone tell me how this clowns present policies (or non policies in some cases) on the economy, energy, foreign relations, anything else you can think of will ever fix anything? Economic policy is printer based, (just print more money when you need it), energy policy is complete nonsense and folly based, foreign policy is blame America and apologize based, need I go on? How does that Koolaid taste now? How is that Change working out for you?

Attack Dog

June 14th, 2012
5:03 pm

If one calls Obama a clown, then may we call Boehner and McConnell Pied Pipers, and Willard a Joker?

R

June 14th, 2012
5:32 pm

I thought Boehner worked for Maxie Price over in Loganville before he became Speaker, as much as he has used that crying towel…

Maybe he’s the court jester?

[...] continuation of the Most Expensive Military in the Universe! … Continue reading here: Your morning jolt: Georgia jumps to national lead in foreclosure rates ← Mortgage Payment Assistance From Regions Bank Part [...]

MrLiberty

June 14th, 2012
10:26 pm

Centrist – Sorry for the confusion. I fully understand Austrian economics and the business cycle theory. I certainly was not intending to imply that somehow the bad debt was actually going to get cleared in the current corporatist/fascist economic environment of bailouts, handouts, government double-cross, etc. My point was that everyone is looking at foreclosures as an inherently BAD thing, yet malinvestment, whether in real estate, stocks, new businesses, commercial real estate or whatever should not be propped up by government or other special means but MUST be allowed to be cleaned up by the market either through foreclosure/siezure, short sale, price reduction, or whatever. Sorry to imply otherwise. Your observations were spot on regarding what is actually going on in our economy.

And by the way, upholding sound economic principles is not a “centrist” position. It is a libertarian position (or really doesn’t belong on any political spectrum as it is just about right and wrong, not right and left.

Big Hat

June 14th, 2012
10:29 pm

Die stupid poor people, die, die, die!!!!!! But vote for Mitt first, please, really, he hates your guts.

MrLiberty

June 14th, 2012
10:30 pm

David – Actually, as the GOP has yet to cast a single delegate vote for a nominee, I am as always proposing voting for Ron Paul. He saw this whole thing coming in 2001 (go to YouTube and search for Ron Paul predicts housing bubble). You will be shocked at the accuracy of his predictions not just about the housing bubble, but about the entire economic crisis.

No, we absolutely should not vote for either Romney or Obama. They both supported TARP (bailing out the scum that helped cause this mess), both support bailouts, stimulus (at least when Romney is not against stimulus – never know which one will pop up which week), both support the Federal Reserve – the root cause, and both support (or are supported) by Goldman Sachs and the Wall Street banks (Obama in 2008 and Romney this time around.

Yes, there is always a better choice. Ron Paul

shady

June 15th, 2012
12:57 am

Caroline gee thanks. We did not know that. Unfortunately if you have no job, because the Big Flithy Banks sold these properties as you say, and both husband and wife were working and paying their bills, and say, gee whiz, one or both lost their jobs, or got downsized. Yes you might have a little problem paying lets say $300 mortgage with no income coming in. Don’t you think. Now, instead of lecturing people about what they can’t do. Let’s come up with some workable solutions to this mess, and which all people frown and work our way out of this. My rental was going gang booster until my renter lost his job. Consequently, its in arrears, and since the town the rental is in, is in a deep, deep, deep funk. As in all the factories–that the man you Hate–Jimmy Carter brought to Georgia vanished to slave labor markets overseas. The poor little people have no jobs. So, (point this out to Williard) there are not any RENTERS, to take the propertiesssss out of FORECLOSURE on a short sale, long sale, or any other sale. So, if the bank will cut the rate to no more than 2 percent with no application fees just do it, We could pay something on the property to keep it going, and over time as the Economy RECOVERS as when you JOB CREATERS decide to create some more jobs(instead of OBSTRUCTING) any decent Job proposals that are offered. A little money is better than just letting us know we are behind and that the property is subject to be taken over by the bank, as if we did not know that, but we need some relief. And, why did not the Job Creators create any job with the extension of the Tax bill in 2010. And yet now they are falling all over themselves demanding a further “permanent” tax cut to the the of 800 billion dollars a year, increased spending for the bloated Military budget 850 billion dollars a year, and No Job Bills, because, you know, the 350 billion dollar stimulus bill on started putting people back to cut and increase the budget. Yes, this is all a head scratcher. Please explain, how we get out of this mess if my suggestion is you know Socialist or Communist and unworkable. People need jobs to pay their bills in my humble opinion. And, yes raising the minimum wage bill to 10 dollars a hour might put a little more money in workers pocket too. You know to pay bills and stuff with. What is your idea. Another tax cut for the rich, and cut food stamps! Of course that won’t hurt the already struggling farmers who have to start buying crop insurance since their program is being wiped out too. Because, you know its Socialist. I thought we had a mixed economy here. Not purely capitalist, not purely socialist. But smart.

Edward Ruffin

June 15th, 2012
7:03 am

I understand the foreclosure situation. There are people all over the places buying houses they can’t afford because the feds say that to not let them is “racissssst’. The ghetto has moved out of Atlanta and is and has destroyed once very nice suburbs.