When a homeowner falls behind on mortgage payments, the lender can ask a court to seize the home and sell it to cover the debt.Lenders asked courts in North Carolina to foreclose a record 45,500 homes last year, more than double the number in 2000.
Roughly half these filings end with an actual foreclosure. The remaining owners repay the loan by selling or refinancing, filing for bankruptcy, or striking a deal with the lender.
What It Means to You
Foreclosed owners lose their home, their neighborhood, their investment. Borrowing money becomes very hard and very expensive.
Some homes sit empty. Others become rentals. Communities are destabilized. Neighboring homes lose value. Crime sometimes rises.
Local governments lose property tax revenues. They also pay to process the foreclosure and for public safety issues associated with vacant buildings. Their average cost runs into thousands of dollars, according to a 2005 study by Harvard University researchers.
Lost your home? Struggling to hold on? Live in a neighborhood plagued by foreclosures? We'd like to hear your story. E-mail email@example.com or call 704-358-5170.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less