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Foreclosure Crisis in Minnesota Nearing End

It has taken eight years, but the foreclosure crisis in Minnesota is nearing an end. With home prices on the rise and the economy on the mend, the numbers are looking better. However, there are still individuals throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota who are still struggling.

But here are the numbers: The number of homes in the Twin Cities lost to foreclosure nearly cut in half in January 2013 compared to January 2013, According to the research firm, CoreLogic.

Statewide, the crisis saw its peak in 2008. There were 26,000 foreclosures, which was a sharp increase from the 6,000 that were seen in 2005. In 2013, there were around 11,800 foreclosures in the state.

Although the sheriff’s sales are happening a lot less, there are a number of forces that make it difficult to determine when the numbers will return to their pre-crisis lows.

Many families earn a lot less money than they did just five years ago and thousands of homeowners will not be able to regain the equity that was lost when the home prices dropped, leaving many still on the edge of default. During January, 2.63 percent of mortgages in the Twin Cities metro area were still standing at 90 days or more past due. Though this is down from the 4 percent seen last year, it is still higher than what many want to see. It shows that homeowners throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the state are not out of the woods yet.

Call centers across the U.S. are fielding fewer calls from individuals already in default, but they are talking more to people who are on the verge of default. These are individuals who are current, but they are struggling. As of now, they are representing fifty percent of the calls that come into the call centers every day. They call because they have trouble that they want to discuss due to the fact that they are still struggling and they are afraid.

In Minnesota, a majority of these calls are being handled by the Homeownership Center, which has seen a decline in calls from people who are getting closer to a sheriff’s sale.

There are some rather broad areas within the state where thousands are still struggling to pay for their homes. In Hennepin County, the foreclosure rate in December was just .68 percent, according to a HomeLink year-end foreclosure analysis for the Minnesota Homeownership center.

Isanti County is one of the counties that have struggled the most in the 11 county Twin Cities metro. More people here have sought home foreclosure help more often than homeowners in other counties. Their foreclosure rate has stood around 1.26 percent, which is double the statewide average. The same is true in Stearns and Chisago counties, where hundreds of new homes were built to appease the most budget-conscious homebuyers.

Although it has been easier for individuals to find jobs now than it was during those dark days of the recession, many homeowners are still working less and they have jobs that didn’t ay them as well, placing them in difficult financial positions.