Foreclosure crisis persists in Ohio: Filings decline, but 1 in 3 Ohio houses still have negative equity
Dayton Daily News - April 6, 2012
New foreclosure filings dropped in 2011 in area counties, but the overall housing market remains fragile, with a high number of delinquent and overvalued mortgages, said Policy Matters Ohio in a report released this week.
About 14,000 fewer foreclosure cases were filed in Ohio last year, for a total of about 71,500, said Policy Matters, a left-leaning nonprofit research organization on economic policy. It was the second consecutive year the number of foreclosure cases had dropped.
But the number of homes with negative equity remains high. One in three houses in Ohio are worth less than the homeowners owe, a quick step away from foreclosure, said David Rothstein, the author of the report and a project director for Policy Matters Ohio.
A high number of mortgage loans are past due as well, Rothstein said.
“These foreclosures did decline, which is good,” Rothstein said. “The problem is all the other indications seem to point to the problem (as being) the same, if not worse.”
Butler, Hamilton, Montgomery and Preble counties are among the top 10 in Ohio for the most foreclosures per 1,000 residents, according to Policy Matters’ analysis of Ohio Supreme Court data. Cuyahoga County tops the state.
More than 2,544 new foreclosures were filed against home properties in Butler County last year; 5,834 in Hamilton, 3,924 in Montgomery and 330 in Preble.
Terrie Krumal, education and marketing coordinator for Consumer Credit Counseling Service, said mortgage servicers recognize empty houses are a problem.
“It wasn’t like it was a couple years ago where you would get the runaround,” Krumal said. “Now I think they’re really taking time with it and really trying to get people into the right options.”