Alabama Foreclosures Slowed As Employment Situation Improved- By: John Cutts
The pace of Alabama foreclosures slowed in March as the employment in the state improved slightly.
Foreclosure filings in Alabama rose slightly in March to 2,295 filings, a slim increase of 0.17 percent from total February filings and a slight increase of 1.55 percent from February 2009.
In February, there were 2,291 homes put into the foreclosure process in Alabama and out of these properties, 745 units were bank owned foreclosures, accounting for 32.52 percent of all distressed housing units during the month.
In January, a total of 1,801 homes became distressed or foreclosed and out of these homes, 910 units became list foreclosures for sale of bank owned.
All in all, there were 6,387 homes throughout the state of Alabama which entered the foreclosure process in the first three months of this year. In January and in March, the pace of foreclosure filings in the state slowed. It was in February when foreclosures stepped up by 27.2 percent month-over-month.
Despite the slowdown in the pace of Alabama foreclosures in March, total foreclosure filings in the first quarter of this year marked an increase of 0.21 percent from foreclosure activity in the previous quarter and a jump of 78.4 percent from foreclosure activity in March last year.
The employment situation in Alabama improved a little in March as the number of jobless workers dropped slightly, pushing down the unemployment rate by 0.1 percentage point to 11 percent in March. Alabama counties with the lowest jobless rates in March were Madison, which posted an 8-percent jobless rate; Shelby, which posted an 8.1-percent rate; and Coffee, which posted 8.3 percent.
The highest jobless rates occurred in Wilcox, where the jobless rate shot up to 24.8 percent; Monroe, where the rate jumped up to 20.4 percent; and Conecuh, where unemployment rose to 19.4 percent.
Data from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations also showed that the only county in Northeast Alabama that bucked the statewide decline in rate was Cherokee County, where the jobless rate rose to 11.3 percent, up from 11.2 percent in February.
In several counties, the most number of job losses occurred in manufacturing enterprises while job gains occurred in transportation, trade and retail sectors.
Alabama residents are hopeful that the employment situation continues to improve. Increases in job opportunities and in wage levels over the past two months have prompted some analysts to contend that the pace of Alabama foreclosures will continue its downward trend in the coming months.
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John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.