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Foreclosed Listings Homes Soared in Cleveland and Suburbs

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Foreclosed listings homes continued to grow in number in Cleveland, Ohio and in the suburbs of Cuyahoga County in 2009, based on data from the Center on Urban Poverty and Community at the Case Western Reserve University.

The year 2009 marked the fourth consecutive year that Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, exceeded 13,800 foreclosure filings. Unemployment, underemployment, decline in property values and adjustment of interest rates to higher levels largely caused delinquency or foreclosure actions on 14,800 households in the county in 2009.

While foreclosure activity in the urban core of Cleveland has abated, the pace of foreclosure stepped up in its suburbs, especially its western side. Since 2006, foreclosure postings rose in the inner-ring western suburbs by 60 percent and increased in the outer suburbs in both the western and eastern sides of Cuyahoga by 50 percent.

In the suburban cities of Westlake and Rocky River, foreclosure postings have doubled since 2006. According to Paul Bellamy, head of the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program, job losses and loss of supplementary sources of income have largely pushed prime borrowers into default and foreclosure.

Bellamy said that the number of home loans in default by at least three months has soared throughout Cuyahoga and other parts of Ohio. He added that there are a lot of zombie loans those that have been in default for so long they can no longer be saved.

Not only mortgage delinquencies pushed the increase in foreclosed listings homes; tax delinquencies also accounted for a big portion of foreclosure actions in the county in 2009, indicating the deep impact of the economic downturn on homeowners.

According to Jim Rokakis, treasurer of Cuyahoga County, tax foreclosures jumped to 2,440 filings in 2009, marking a 20-percent jump from the previous year and a hike of 77 percent from filings in 2006. While property tax problems dropped in the suburbs, filings stepped up in the city especially in the eastern side.

Rokakis said that the county has announced a 6-month moratorium on tax foreclosures, but only on homes currently occupied by their owners. New tax foreclosure filings will continue on vacant and rented properties, which have been rising sharply in number as more people have been walking away from their mortgage loans.

Over the past four years, over 49,000 households in Cuyahoga County have been notified of default or foreclosure as the high level of unemployment persisted and turned more residential properties into foreclosed listings homes.

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