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Foreclosure is still a spectre in the Cleveland region

Debts are often a part of life in America for all classes, and there are many tools to recover from the problem. One of the worst forms of debt is foreclosure, which often takes away a family's most valuable asset as well as their home at the same time.

Northern Ohio was gravely affected by high foreclosure rates for the last 10 years. Greater Cleveland continues to suffer from loss of homes as people struggle to right their finances.

The main factor in the housing finance crisis was subprime loans, which allowed people to buy homes with little money upfront only to be shouldered with an enormous financial burden. Unemployment that occurred at the outset of the crisis and continued for years also led to more money challenges for would-be homeowners.

"We need to do a deeper education in terms of getting people into workforce development and things along those lines outside of just the foreclosure," said a local fair housing advocate.

Cleveland and the surrounding area was one of the hardest-hit regions in the early stages of the Great Recession, and recovery was long and slow. Up to 13,000 homes were foreclosed on per year in Cuyahoga County alone in the earlier part of the decade. The rate has dropped to 4,000 houses per year, although this is still dangerously high for the financial health of the region and its homeowners.

Many services may offer ways out of foreclosure and debts, although they must be scanned very carefully to make sure they are not scams. Attorneys are available to help debtors discover their options in attempts to keep their homes.

Source: Crain's Cleveland Business, "Ten years after foreclosures hit Cleveland hard, full recovery remains elusive," Scott Suttell, Jan. 25, 2018

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