Many Valley owners expected to keep homes after foreclosure pauses end

Apr 15, 2021, 4:55 AM | Updated: 7:26 am

(Pexels photo)...

(Pexels photo)

(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — Pauses on foreclosures are keeping more Phoenix metro residents in their homes, but what happens when they eventually expire?

RealtyTrac thinks most owners will stay in their homes.

“People have been exiting mortgage forbearance programs for about a year,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of the company, said. “So, they’ve continued paying their loans and having them reinstated.”

Sharga adds lost jobs are mostly back and equity is reaching record levels.

“Even borrowers who do find themselves in some sort of financial distress will have options that will allow them to escape foreclosure,” he said.

Sharga finds most foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic are for vacant and abandoned properties.

“That actually is a good thing while we’re in the midst of a global pandemic,” Sharga said. “The last thing you want is vacant properties in your neighborhood that are always safety hazards and could be health risks.”

Among 220 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000, Lake Havasu City had the highest foreclosure rates in the first quarter of 2021 at one in every 518 housing units.

Sharga fears smaller landlords, like those in Lake Havasu City, who may not have gotten enough government assistance could lose their mortgages.

His data gathered from public records shows foreclosures in the Valley rose by a third in March (111) over February, but is still down 82% year over year.

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Many Valley owners expected to keep homes after foreclosure pauses end