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Foreclosures drop in the most at-risk counties in Ohio

It is difficult to consider becoming a renter - or worse - once a person or family has bought a home. It is undeniable that owning one's own property is part of the American Dream, and foreclosure or other loss of property due to financial distress is one of life's greatest nightmares.

Ohio was greatly affected by the economic downturn of the late 2000s, with the Great Recession wiping out billions in property value and owners' equity in their homes. The Buckeye State was one of the top 10 states that faced foreclosure between 2008 and 2012, and some areas are only now showing signs of recovery.

Mahoning and Richland counties were home to the two greatest numbers of foreclosures across Ohio in 2016, which had a total of nearly 39,000 foreclosures.

Fortunately, Mansfield and the rest of Richland County are projecting a drop in foreclosures during 2017, with 413 during that year compared to a disturbing 675 the previous year. The county had led the state outright in foreclosures in 2014 and 2015.

Current foreclosures, as well as most other over the last decade, have largely affected low- and middle-income Ohioan workers and their families. This is largely because these homeowners had less opportunity to build equity in their homes before facing financial distress.

Homeowners facing foreclosure should explore all possible options for keeping their homes. An attorney may assist people working to save their home in determining the validity of foreclosure orders and figuring out the best way to save or sell a home before it is taken away.

Source: Mansfield News Journal, "Foreclosure projections for Richland County decrease for 2017," Mark Caudill, Dec. 19, 2017

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