Foreclosures up sharply in May 2015

Minnesota homeowners may have heard that foreclosure rates reached a 19-month high in May 2015. The number of properties in foreclosure was 1 percent higher than it had been in April and 16 percent higher than a year ago. Recent figures released by RealityTrac reveal that foreclosure filings in May affected one out of every 1,041 homes in the United States. Foreclosure filings include bank repossessions, notices of default and scheduled auctions.

Financial data indicates that the economy is continuing to recover from recession, but foreclosure rates remain high as lenders work through a backlog of foreclosure cases. While the number of foreclosure starts is slightly higher than what was seen a year ago, figures remain below 2005 and 2006 levels. This means that the number of homeowners going into foreclosure has leveled out, but the number of people losing their homes is increasing.

Florida had the nation's highest foreclosure rate for the third consecutive month, and records indicate that one out of every 409 homes in that state is in foreclosure. A surge in new filings saw New Jersey become the state with the second-highest foreclosure rate, while Tennessee, Maryland and Nevada ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Some homeowners may find it difficult to stay current with their mortgage payments. A threat of foreclosure could cause a great deal of emotional distress. An attorney with experience in this area could point out that filing for bankruptcy might put at least a temporary end to the foreclosure process. An attorney could also explain how a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy could provide those with unmanageable debts the opportunity of a financial fresh start while putting an end to creditor harassment.

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