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How foreclosure can impact entire neighborhoods

Foreclosure may not be an isolated issue. In some cases, as property values fall, it can hit entire neighborhoods.

For example, a lot of people bought new homes when prices were high and there was a surge of construction. However, as that bubble popped, it turned out that there were too many homes. This devalued those that had been purchased and meant that many homes didn't sell.

As a result, people in those neighborhoods or communities often found that there were empty lots and empty houses all over the place. They were stuck paying far more than their homes were worth, living in a virtual ghost town. No one else wanted to buy those homes once the real value was clear.

To get out of it, some homeowners went into foreclosure. They let the lenders take the homes back just to get out of those high payments with little end value.

This, of course, just lowered the property values even more. A half-full neighborhood turned into one with a family in just one out of every five homes, for example. The drop in values pushed out people who had been resistant to the idea of foreclosure in the first place. The domino effect dropped prices for everyone.

This helps to show you how foreclosure is not always entirely your fault. You don't have full control over the value of your property, which can change dramatically in a short time. If this process has impacted your home and your property, be sure you always know what legal options you have, especially if you don't want to lose your home.

Source: Huffington Post, "Is Foreclosure Ever a Good Idea?," accessed May 04, 2017

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