It has been a volatile time for the housing industry, not just in Western Pennsylvania, but throughout the United States.
Housing sales and new construction has been stagnant, and at times depressed.
And now we are finding that foreclosures are surging around the country.
According to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, mortgage foreclosure activity surged during the month of March 2015. Lenders started the foreclosure process on 53,514 properties in March, which was an 11 percent increase from February 2015. In addition, sheriff sales were also up in March and were 11 percent higher than February for a total of 50,760 properties nation wide. The states with the highest foreclosure rates in March 2015 were Florida, followed by Maryland, Nevada, Illinois and New Jersey.
This is a good time to remind everyone that if you are facing a mortgage foreclosure because you have fallen behind with your payments to the lender, and they are sending back the payments that you are sending to them and threatening to take your property in a sheriff sale, you have an alternative to fall back on. If you file Chapter 13, which is a form of bankruptcy, you can have up to five years to bring the mortgage up to date. You would then make the regular monthly mortgage payments each month through the bankruptcy court system along with an additional payment that would bring the mortgage fully current within five years. Therefore, all of the accrued mortgage payments, late charges, and any other fees and costs can be consolidated together and divided out over five years.
If you are facing this situation or if you know anybody else that is facing this situation and has questions, please do not hesitate to give Steidl and Steinberg a call at 412-391-8000. Our office offers a free consultation to review your individual situation and to see if Chapter 13 may be the best alternative for you to consider.