By Gerri Elder
One in every 464 households in America is facing mortgage foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac's July foreclosure market report, which also stated that foreclosures are up 8% from the previous month and up 55% from July 2007.
Although foreclosure listings have been lining the pages of local newspapers all around the nation, some places have been hit harder than others.
A recent Forbes article analyzed RealtyTrac's July assessment and found that Las Vegas, Sacramento and Los Angeles were the most affected cities, with 20% of homeowners selling their properties after living in them for less than a year.
In fact, the article found that "flipping", or buying a home and quickly selling it, was common practice.
Flipping was once a method used by perceptive real estate moguls who bought low and sold high back when the real estate market was booming-but, needless to say, those days are gone for now.
People are still scooping up foreclosure deals; however, most of them are having a hard time flipping the property over. They're either finding it difficult to find buyers or the houses are ending up frozen in the courts, according to the article.
Some are just trying to sell their properties before they become liabilities. Most sellers aren't even making money off the sales.
The article found that last quarter's home sales oftentimes were sold at a loss to the homeowner. Take Detroit for example, where 56.4% of sold homes went for a loss, and Memphis, where 43.8% of the homes were also sold at losses.
The trend continues out west in Phoenix, where 21.4% of last quarter's home sales were homes that had been flipped in the last year and 52.1% of the overall sales went for a loss.
According to RealtyTrac, the following states have the highest foreclosure rates in the country:
RealtyTrac further analyzed the market health of major metropolitan areas. It found that the highest foreclosure metro rates were in Florida and California.
The Cape Coral/Fort Myers (Florida) metro area ranked as the worst foreclosure metro hotspot, with one in every 64 households dealing with foreclosure.
The California metro area of Merced came in as the second-worst rated market, with one in every 73 houses going through the foreclosure process and the Stockton and Modesto California metro areas tied for third place, with one in every 82 households receiving a foreclosure filing.
Unfortunately, history shows that these foreclosure statistics show the foreclosure boom won't disappear overnight. Banks are increasingly calling in their mortgage notes. Consumers should know that there are ways to protect their hard-earned assets, such as seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief.
Chapter 13 can stop foreclosures; however, it must be filed before the mortgage company sells your home. A Chapter 13 repayment plan allows the homeowner to pay off their late mortgage payments in fixed payments from future income, rather than from the sale of their current assets (like their home).
It's important to note that if a homeowner misses any payments on the Chapter 13 repayment plan, the mortgage company can ask the bankruptcy court to resume the foreclosure. But once a homeowner gets back on track, it is possible for them to be able to refinance their mortgage in the future.