This recession just will not go away. In foreclosure related news from Oregon, that state's rate of filings just jumped off the scale, reaching a whopping 235% higher for April. With the rest of the country improving slightly in the same time frame, the Oregon numbers clearly show the volatility of the industry still.
Foreclosure numbers from RealtyTrac for April showed a slowing of foreclosure filings across the United States. The rate of foreclosures actually dropped by 14 percent for most Americans affected, but Oregon's drastic jump from 1,100 to 3,700 revealed a bit of the cruel fate of the nation's real estate industry - the bulk of the foreclosure "iceberg" still lurks beneath the surface - within the lending halls, so to speak.
The problem for Oregon homeowners on the brink is complicated (red tape), yet simple. Some lenders appear to be trying to circumnavigate court orders, or at least they seem determined to file. In the case of Oregon's most recent woes, Bank of America Corp.'s foreclosure arm, ReconTrust Co., is the agency responsible for all the new filings. Bank of America spokesperson Jumana Bauwens told OregonLive.com:
"We wanted to provide our customers with every opportunity for home retention as well as ensure all foreclosure filing were completed with our improved process. As we entered April, we began initiating filings with that improved process. The filings in April may or may not be those held back in February and/or March."
Despite what Bank of America says their intentions are, the whole foreclosure filing situation for them begins to take on the appearance of a game. Federal judges order a halt for foreclosures, banks regroup and refile, and at both ends technicalities rule the mix. Meanwhile, real people suffer every indignity.
In Oregon, Federal judges halted foreclosures by ReconTrust and others on a technicality basically. Improper filings and the chain or ownership not being clearly defined hardly seems like a permanent solution for imperiled homeowners there. But, this seems to be the only way to keep Oregon wolves from the proverbial doors of citizens. Just why the governor cannot suspend foreclosures because "the people of the great state of Oregon demand it," is anyone's guess.
So while banks and regulators fence, Oregon's homeowners who need help lay awake at night wondering about their future. This is the scene across America actually. Your neighbor fearing the inevitable, with no new jobs in sight. The moral of this story is surely; "Don't count your chickens before they are hatched." What happens in Oregon can happen in Mississippi. More later on Oregon's housing situation.