Minnesota homeowners less likely to default, report says

A new report suggests that homeowners in Minnesota and elsewhere are less likely to lose their homes to foreclosure than at any time since September 2010. Completed foreclosure rates have dropped over 65 percent from September 2010 to March 2015 and nearly 16 percent from March 2014 to March 2015. Additionally, the delinquency rate on mortgaged homes has reached its lowest level since May 2008. However, completed foreclosures increased 7 percent from February to March 2015.

While these statistics suggest a robust housing and consumer market well on its way to recovery, seriously delinquent mortgages, or mortgage payments overdue by more than 90 days, remain nearly three times higher than pre-recession levels at almost 4 percent now versus 1.5 percent in 2008. As a national average, only 1 percent of all mortgaged homes, or 542,000, are considered to be foreclosure inventory.

A state's foreclosure inventory is determined by how many houses have been foreclosed and currently await resale. The state featuring the lowest foreclosure inventory by percentage is Alaska at 0.3 percent, while the highest is New Jersey at 5.3 percent. By actual count of completed foreclosures, Florida was the highest at 110,000 while South Dakota was the lowest at 16 from March 2014 to March 2015. These figures suggest that homeowners are now more likely to be able to keep their homes.

The mechanisms and legal remedies available to stop the foreclosure process depend largely upon the individual agreement, type of loan, level of delinquency and other factors. An attorney may begin by examining the foreclosure notice and original agreement for predatory language that may have left the homeowners at an unwitting disadvantage. The attorney might then file for an injunction or court order to halt foreclosure proceedings until the matter is resolved in a civil proceeding.

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