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Foreclosed Home Listings on the Rise in West Virginia

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
A report by West Virginia's Division of Banking showed that the state's foreclosed home listings continue to rise this year. The report noted that majority of loan defaults posted this year were accounts by out-of-state banks.

In 2008, West Virginia's mortgage foreclosures rose by 12 percent compared with 2007. The Eastern Panhandle was the area in the state severely affected by the foreclosure crisis.

According to the report, foreclosures almost doubled in the counties of Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan. Last year, Berkeley County posted 519 foreclosed homes, the highest among counties in West Virginia.

State banking division lawyer Robert Lamont said that based on figures, the banking agency could identify the foreclosure hot spots in the state.

The survey was started by the banking agency early in 2009 in response to a series which noted that West Virginia's foreclosure problem was being underreported by a national foreclosure monitoring company.

The company that tracks foreclosure activities across the country admitted that its figures were faulty and warned that they should not be used for comparing state mortgage foreclosure rates.

According to industry analysts, lobbyists have been using these faulty figures from the foreclosure tracking company to force lawmakers in West Virginia to reject anti-predatory loan proposals.

The banking agency said that results of its survey confirmed that the foreclosure data released by the foreclosure monitoring company were underreported in previous years. The study of the banking agency showed that state-chartered and national banks in West Virginia accounted for not more than 11 percent of foreclosure activities in the state for the previous two years.

Banking Commissioner Sara Cline said that the survey's results only proved that community banks in the state have effective lending practices, adding that they understand the needs of their clients and their markets.

The survey conducted by the banking agency took into account all types of lenders of residential mortgages. Also noted in the survey was the surged in last year's foreclosure rate to 2,577 from 2,296 in 2007.

Mortgage foreclosures in Kanawha County declined by 22 percent to 256 from 328. Similarly, Putnam County's repossession rate dropped to 63 from 66. Counties that also experience a drop in foreclosure rates were Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Logan, Raleigh and Roane.

Early this year, a state law was approved requiring trustees who conduct home mortgage sales to submit data to West Virginia's 55 county clerks.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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