Mayors on the frontline

Housing foreclosures impact everyone.

Local governments are scrambling to deal with the rising number of foreclosures that strain city services and soon may take a toll on property-tax revenue.

Stemming foreclosures and managing vacant properties so that years of economic development doesn't unravel was a priority as the nation's mayors gathered in Washington last week. Many localities have set up efforts to reach the 50% of people who never even speak to their lender before their homes are foreclosed. Mayors are eager to help constituents make payments or restructure loans because vacant properties pose costly problems. [snip]

Chicago estimates that each vacant house costs the city an average of $34,000 for inspections, court actions, extra law enforcement, visits from city utilities, and sometimes demolition... Chicago has had a program to help residents stay in their houses since 2003, bulking it up in recent months as foreclosures surged. Each week, using court records, the city compiles a list of homeowners who have defaulted on their loans and sends them postcards urging them to get help, said Ellen Sahli, the housing commissioner. It has recruited local ministers to reach homeowners and also has asked lenders to invite their delinquent borrowers to events where they can modify loans on the spot.

[From As Foreclosures Rise, Mayors Brace for Fallout -
(Digg-enabled full access to complete article here)]

Can't be good for the nation's economy if housing prices continue to fall either. Even if you yourself are able to pay your mortgage, if a good percentage of your neighbors can't, your home's equity is in danger of plummeting too. Especially if you live in Detroit, godz forbid, where 1 in 33 homes are in foreclosure.

Oh Boy more condos [where: 501 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60661 ]

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 28, 2008 2:01 PM.

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