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Foreclosure Rates Have Jumped Dramatically In 2006
Merrimack County foreclosure rate has jumped dramatically during 2006 with the rate up over 60% over 2005. In 2004 the number of homes lost due to foreclosure was 33, but the figure of 1991 when there were 610 foreclosures in the County was the highest in history. The shock to the individuals and to the economy for those homeowners who signed up for mortgages such as the interest-only and adjustable rate mortgages with plans to refinance when the interest rates increased is overwhelming. Many of these homeowners are already finding it very difficult to make their payments.

Because the real estate market is in stagnation as well, it’s hard for these homeowners to either sell out or recover their equity or to pull equity from the property with a line of credit or homeowner’s loan. It’s even difficult to do a refinance or re-fi because the equity simply isn’t there.

Of the foreclosures so far this year, 40 are on adjustable rate mortgage properties from 2002 or later. These are the loans, which were taken out with great interest rates during the first two to three years, but are now running into difficulty.

Adjustable rate mortgages generally provide a minimal fixed interest rate for the first one to three years. After that time, the rates fluctuate according to the marker index used by the lender. Interest rates can take a jump of several points all at once. 

As the name states, with an interest-only loan, only


the interest on the mortgage loan is paid for the early years and then the principal portion payment kicks in. These alternative funding mortgages would be a good deal, had the home values continued to rise at the same rate. The homeowners would have been able to utilize the equity built up to refinance or to resell at better rates.

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of New Hampshire states that foreclosure cannot be attributed solely to interest rates and the type of mortgage loan involved. Credit card debt has increased, fuel costs have risen dramatically both for transportation and home heating. When a house payment then increases at a rapid rate, homeowners simply can’t pay because their income has not risen to the same degree.

People who are having trouble meeting mortgage payments should seek help early for the best chance of recovering and saving their home.

People who prefer to invest in foreclosed properties have a great market at present. Banks don’t want to hold onto foreclosed properties for any length of time, so many properties are available, sometimes at rates significantly less than market value.

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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.

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