home foreclosure

Charles & Adrienne Esseltine / Flickr / Flickr

The City of Detroit and Wayne County are making concerted efforts to tackle two big problems: the lack of money, and blight.

They’re zeroing in on abandoned houses and homes where owners have fallen behind on their taxes - pay up or face foreclosure.

The foreclosed houses are being offered to those who will fix them up, keep them up, and pay taxes.

What does all of this mean for the people who've been living in those houses? Writer Rose Hackman looked into that question. Her story, "One Fifth of Detroit's Population Could Lose Their Homes," is in The Atlantic.

  Today on Stateside:

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says a quarter of Michigan homeowners are underwater on their mortgages – and that’s a big improvement.

Back in 2012, roughly half of Michigan homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.

Daren Bloomquist of Realty Trac says Michigan, like the rest of the nation, has seen steady improvement in home values since the end of the recession.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is experiencing an uptick in initial home foreclosure filings.

Michigan has seen 45 straight months of year-over-year declines in the number of home foreclosure filings.

But for the last two months, the number of foreclosure notices have been inching higher. In July, the number of foreclosure filings increased by 26% over the previous month.  However, July’s foreclosure filings were down 22% from July 2013. 

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He was surprised to see a 6% increase in foreclosure starts last month.

Is America climbing out of the foreclosure hole dug during the Great Recession?

That's the question tackled in reports from Realty Trac, which keeps a close watch on real estate data. Its Midyear 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report is out today.

The report shows that U.S. foreclosure activity in June decreased 16% from a year ago to lowest level since July 2006, the month before the housing-price bubble burst. In Michigan, the foreclosure activity was also back to a lower level than the number before the housing bust.

Daren Blomquist, a Vice President with Realty Trac, discussed three reasons behind this slowdown in foreclosures.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure crisis of a few years ago can still be felt by the state’s real estate industry.

In February, 2011, 35.3% of the homes sold in Michigan were distressed homes: formerly foreclosed on or being sold short for a loss.

In May of this year, 18.6% of home sales involved distressed homes.

Realty Trac reports Michigan home prices continue to improve, claiming the median sale price for a Michigan home last month was $100,000, that’s up 18% in the past year.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The number of homes in Michigan in foreclosure has dropped to its lowest level since 2005.

Foreclosure filings in Michigan have been steadily declining for the past three and a half years.

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He says banks are now dealing with the problem of getting former owners or tenants to move out of their foreclosed homes.

“One of the questions we get a lot is ‘why (are) these properties not selling?’” says Bloomquist. “One of the major answers to that is because the former occupants are still living there … nationwide 50% of the time.”

Michigan Attorney General's office

Michigan’s Attorney General says a Detroit man defrauded more than 100 people in southeast Michigan with a fake mortgage rescue scam.

Bill Schuette says Anthony Carta ran the scam through a phony religious organization called Freedom by Faith Ministries.

Carta promised homeowners facing foreclosure he’d settle up with their mortgage lenders, for a fee. But he would pocket that money instead.

Carta is accused of stealing more than $300,000 this way. He’s being charged with conducting a criminal enterprise and two other felonies.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Realty Trac is out with a report on home affordability.

The report shows that rising home prices and interest rates are translating into higher monthly mortgage payments for home buyers.

The report focused on three bedroom, single-family homes.

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac.

He says Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties have seen a 40% to 50% increase in monthly mortgage payments on home sales in the past year.

Bloomquist says home prices in the Detroit metro market are still very low.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Realty Trac reports nearly a third of Michigan homeowners owe 25 percent or more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth.   

In December, 31% of Michigan homeowners were deeply underwater on their mortgages.  That’s down from 37% in January of 2013.

Nationally, 19% of homeowners are deeply underwater on their mortgages.

Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac says many homeowners have been waiting a long time for their house to gain value.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

House flippers in Michigan are having a tough time making money these days.

Before the recession, house flipping was a small, but very active part of Michigan’s real estate industry.

House flipping is where a person buys a home and quickly puts it back on the market, hoping to make a profit on the sale. Many homes resell within six months.  Flipping flopped during the recession as plunging home prices took the profit away.

But a large stock of foreclosed homes and rising home prices has once again spurred interest in flipping in Michigan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan home sale prices have made a major recovery from the bottom of the recession.

But home prices are still far below their peak eight years ago.

Michigan’s median home price reached its peak in September, 2005 at about $150 thousand.

After the bubble burst, home prices fell dramatically, tumbling to just $51 thousand dollars.

Median home prices bottomed out in June of 2009 and have been climbing slowly since.

Realty Trac’s Daren Bloomquist says Michigan’s median home price last month was $97 thousand dollars.

Google Earth

Michigan homeowners continue to struggle with underwater mortgages.

Realty Trac reports today that 38% of Michigan homeowners owe at least 25% more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth.

Michigan trails only Nevada, Illinois and Florida for the percentage of home mortgages that are deeply underwater.

Realty Trac’s Daren Bloomquist says more homeowners in those states may be underwater on their mortgages, but home values are also rising faster than in Michigan.

Michigan's home foreclosure rate is tumbling.

During the Great Recession, Michigan's foreclosure rate was among the nation's highest and, at times, the highest in the nation.

Today, Michigan ranks 15th.

Put it another way: Our home foreclosure rate is half of what it was six months ago.

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac and he joined us today from their offices in California.

Listen to the full interview above.

Michigan's home foreclosure rate is falling and our state is certainly no longer number one in foreclosures in the country. We found out why on today's show.

And, Michigan Radio's Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry joined us to take a look at how your state lawmakers are spending their summer recess.

And, a Michigan videographer is heading to Greenland to document the effects of pollution on glaciers for a project called “Dark Snow.”

Also, we spoke with the father of a 12-year-old Ohio State fan who found a creative way to use the rivalry between OSU and U of M to help him beat brain cancer.

And, Scott DeRue, who teaches at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, joined us to talk about his recent climb to the summit of Mount Everest.

First on the show, it’s Thursday which means it’s the time we turn to Daniel Howes – Columnist at the Detroit News.

Today he took a look at Kevyn Orr and the meetings he had this week with Detroit’s creditors and bond holders.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate is tumbling. The rate of home foreclosure filings in Michigan is half of what it was six months ago. 

June marked the 32nd consecutive month of “year-over-year” declines in the number of home foreclosure filings in Michigan.

Daren Blomquist is with RealtyTrac.  He expects that trend will continue.

“We’ll see the declines continue at least through the end of this year,” says Blomquist, “But then I would expect in 2014 that’s probably when we’ll see the numbers flatten out.”

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law changes in Michigan's home foreclosure rules but is calling on lawmakers to swiftly enact more legislation to clarify some issues.

Bills signed Wednesday keep intact the redemption period when homeowners can challenge a foreclosure's legality. An earlier version of the legislation would have reduced the period from 6 months to 60 days.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Housing advocates are asking Governor Rick Snyder to veto a package of bills that would change home foreclosure rules.

User: Brother O'Mara / Flickr

Childhood poverty rate high in Michigan

This year’s Kids Count report from the Michigan League for Public Policy and the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Michigan ranks 31st nationwide for overall child well-being. Michigan League for Public Policy President Gilda Jacobs told Michigan Radio's Jake Neher that state lawmakers should restore Michigan’s tax credits for low-income families and ease restrictions on welfare cash assistance.

Possible changes in home foreclosure rules

Legislation in Lansing could change home foreclosure rules in Michigan. Currently, after a foreclosure, homeowners get six months after it gets sold at auction to regain the property. Under the proposed changes, a homeowner would lose that redemption period if the house is damaged. The idea is to stop homeowners going through foreclosure from damaging the home.

Neeta Delaney, director of the Michigan Foreclosure Task Force, told Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith she worries the provision would only make the foreclosure process more contentious.

Michigan beachgoers lost 755 days of water access

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's annual beach quality report says Michigan beachgoers lost 755 days of water access in 2012 because of pollution. The most common cause for beach closings was the presence of bacteria from human or animal feces. Altogether, 166 beaches were closed for a total of 755 days in 2012. That's down from 913 days  in 2011.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Potential home buyers looking for a fixer-upper may want to look in Detroit or Lansing.

Realty Trac is out with a list of the 15 cities with the largest number of bank-owned homes on the market that were built before 1960 and valued at under $100 thousand.

Detroit tops the list, with nearly four thousand older homes with an average estimated value of just over $40 thousand. Lansing comes in 15th, with more than 500 pre-1960 homes with an average estimated value of $56 thousand.

Foreclosed house in Ypsilanti Township
Rebecca Williams / The Environment Report

Opponents of a plan to change the foreclosure process in Michigan say it would put more people out of their homes and hurt property values.

They were in Lansing today to protest a package of bills in the state Legislature.

The legislation would shorten the amount of time homeowners have to stop a bank foreclosure from six months to two months.

Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. says banks have wrongly foreclosed on thousands of properties across the state.

He says it often takes months for people to prove they don’t deserve to lose their home.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Fraudulent loan activity declined slightly in Michigan at the end of last year.

Kroll Factual Data checks loan applications for phony buyers, attempts to misrepresent the value of homes and other fraudulent information.

Kroll president Rod Bazzani says there's been a surge in home loan refinancing, which may explain the decline.   He says refinancing more than doubled last year.

“When you understand that statistic, you realize you’re going to have much less fraud in a refinance environment than you would in a purchase loan environment,” says Bazzani.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate is no longer among the nation’s worst.

Realty Trac reports Michigan ranked 16th in the nation in home foreclosures in March.  That is a far cry from a few years ago when the state had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate.

Mary Townley is with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.  She credits the authority’s “Step Forward” program for providing assistance to people at risk of losing their homes…

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home builders are optimistic about the year ahead.

The recession walloped Michigan’s home building industry. Many builders went out of business. Others merged and focused on home remodeling.

But a new survey shows Michigan’s home builders are optimistic about getting back into the business of building new homes. They say pent up consumer demand, especially for more expensive homes ($200,000 to $800,000), is pushing up the Michigan Housing Index.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new report finds three regional cities are good places to buy and rent out single family homes.

A new Realty Trac survey lists Detroit, Saginaw and Toledo among the 20 best markets in the country to own and rent single family homes. Florida cities dominate the rest of the list.

The top 20 are based on the markets with the most potential cash flow and capitalization rates on a 3-bedroom home.

Saginaw ranked second on the survey.  Toledo came in third.  Detroit ranked 15th on the list.  Memphis, Tennessee topped the Realty Trac ranking. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is close to ending its role as a leader in home foreclosures.

At one time the state had the highest foreclosure rate in the country.

But after 27 straight months of declines, Michigan’s foreclosure rate is almost down to the national average.

“It’s still in the Top Ten states for foreclosure rates…barely it’s at number ten,” says Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac, “with one in every 837 housing units with a foreclosure filing in the month (of January)….and that’s not too far off the national average ….which is one in every 867 housing units.”

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate has "plummeted" during the past 24 months, according to a new report.

According to Realty Trac, home foreclosure activity in Michigan dropped about 23 percent last year compared to 2011  and 43 percent compared to 2010.

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac.  He says Michigan still has one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the nation.

Michigan grants available for first-time homebuyers, refinancing too

Dec 14, 2012
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

First time homebuyers may be eligible for up to $5,000 in state grants.  The grants are part of a settlement against the five largest mortgage servicers.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan continues to see homes in the foreclosure process selling at a brisk rate.

About 24% of the homes sold in Michigan during the third quarter of the year (July-September) were in some stage of the foreclosure process.

Realty Trac reports that’s about 5% higher than the national average.

Georgia had the highest percentage of pre-foreclosure homes among residential sales at 38%.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - With just three months remaining before winter tax payments are due and with about 8,000 parcels rolling toward tax foreclosure in April, Genesee County treasury officials are ramping up programs aimed at keeping people in their homes.

The county Land Bank already has 9,500 parcels of land to maintain after three straight years of at least 2,300 foreclosures. That's after selling 500 foreclosed parcels earlier this year.

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