DeKalb County residents continue to feel the burden of a faltering economy as more than 2,000 foreclosure notices were posted in a month for the second time this year, according to data released by Alpharetta-based Equity Depot last week.
A total of 13,130 foreclosure notices were posted for August in the 13-county metro Atlanta area. DeKalb had the third-highest number of foreclosure , with 2,031, behind Fulton and Gwinnett counties.
There have been 12,588 foreclosures posted in the county this year, up from 11,520 posted through August in 2009, according to Equity Depot.
The increase for August throughout Atlanta may partly be due to fact that the auction for foreclosures posted in August is a full week into the next month.
“Legal organs, like The Champion, generally extend their cutoffs for ad submission and it makes a difference,” said Equity Depot’s Barry Bramlett. “It gives lenders and their counsel an extra week to get notices of sale submitted.
“New requirements were placed on Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac servicing lenders several months ago that slowed the process on many defaulted mortgages,” Bramlett said. “Of course, this was done in an effort to offer workout plans to as many borrowers as could qualify. From our default firm customers, I’ve heard this month’s increase is partly due to those new requirements and many properties are now coming out that would have been there earlier.”
Two Lithonia zip codes, 30058 and 30038, led the county in foreclosure notices for August, according to Equity Depot data. There were 262 foreclosure notices posted in 30058 and 191 posted for 30038. There were 185 notices posted for 30034 (Decatur) and 172 posted in 30083 (Stone Mountain).
“Overall, the numbers have been fairly consistent from 2009-2010,” Bramlett said. “It’s still an increase this year, but not dramatic. Time will tell in this economy.”
DeKalb County received a stimulus grant of $18.5 million in 2009 that helps residents find affordable housing among the county’s foreclosed homes.
“The primary purpose of the Neighborhood Stabilization Grant was to buy foreclosed homes and get them back into the hands of homeowners,” said Chris Morris, executive director of DeKalb County Community Development Department. “This is a way to stabilize neighborhoods that need it the most.”
The stabilization grant allows residents to choose which foreclosed home they want to buy as long as it is in an area of greatest need, Morris said. The county determined those areas not only by the number of foreclosed properties, but also the number of delinquencies. The grant provides for up to $25,000 in down payment assistance to those who qualify. Also, the grant provides for two agencies – the Real Estate Alliance Group and the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership – to acquire, remodel and resell.
More than 100 foreclosed homes have been designated for the program, Morris said.
“Sadly, families are still losing homes,” Morris said. “We’re hoping that families in any trouble at all with their mortgages will please get help from a HUD-approved counseling agency before it gets too bad. We don’t want anyone to lose their home.”
Residents who are interested in more information on the foreclosed homes available through the county program can call (404) 420-1600 or (404) 808-4405, or visit the following Web sites: www.ANDPHomes.org or www.RealHomeOnline.com
DeKalb County’s top 10 Zip codes for foreclosure notices in August
(Source: The Equity Depot)
30058 (Lithonia): 262
30038 (Lithonia): 191
30034 (Decatur): 185
30083 (Stn Mtn.): 172
30087 (Stn Mtn.): 134
30032 (Decatur): 131
30088 (Stn Mtn.): 115
30035 (Decatur): 97
30316 (E. Atlanta): 96