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Foreclosure rates drop in central Ohio

Home ownership is a great responsibility, and financial institutions are there to help people attain that goal without trading financial independence. This is why struggling to keep a home is difficult to deal with and sometimes hard to accept. People facing this challenge do not need to do it alone.

Ohioans know these challenges well after the last 10 years of increased foreclosures and bankruptcies. This followed economic decline and incomes that would not increase along with prices. Distressed homes came on the market at a disturbing rate.

Foreclosures are finally on the decline in most parts of the Buckeye State, signalling a recovery from the subprime housing collapse a decade ago. The Great Recession did heavy damage to the economy in Ohio, specifically affecting the housing market.

The last quarter of 2017 saw only 361 foreclosure sales in central Ohio, and only 424 homes in financial distress came on to the housing market. These rates decreased by at least a third since the last quarter of 2016.

The crisis peaked in 2011, when 23 percent of Ohio's housing inventory were distressed properties. Almost half of property sales involved distressed properties in Ohio that year as well.

Dangers still exist for mortgaged properties, and owners need to be careful to protect their homes and investments. Homeowners also need to be wary of foreclosure fraud, requests for dummy payments and other scams.

For homeowners and property owners fighting foreclosure, legal representation is often a smart part of the plan. An attorney can help review the financial situation and help find solutions beyond the loss of a home or other property.

Source: Columbus Business First, "Short sales and foreclosed house sales decline in Central Ohio," Tristan Navera, Feb. 21, 2018

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