Georgia led the nation in foreclosures during the three months that ended Sept. 30. That’s according to data released Thursday by RealtyTrac, which monitors defaults. Experts say many Georgians lose their homes as they try unsuccessfully to re-negotiate their mortgages.
Georgia is now first among states in foreclosures. The online service RealtyTrac says, the state leaped into the top spot in May with about one-in-six-hundred homes in foreclosure. Atlanta is second among metro areas only to Riverside, California. Tom Merkel of the non-profit housing consultancy The Impact Group says, the data comes as banks step up efforts this year to collect on unpaid mortgages.
Research firm CoreLogic reported this week that Georgia home prices fell another 5.6 percent in April compared to a year ago. Some analysts say new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rules for short sales could help stabilize Georgia’s housing market, where prices have fallen 36 percent in the last six years.
Sales of foreclosed homes accounted for nearly half of all home sales in Georgia during the first three months of the year. That’s according to a report that found foreclosures are on the rise following a moratorium last year.
Georgia now ranks fourth in the nation for home foreclosures, rising two percent in August. But over the past year, there's been a downward trend in Georgia foreclosures. New numbers from RealtyTrac show Georgia had more than 11,000 foreclosure filings in August. Most came in metro Atlanta counties.