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Slow Pace Of Foreclosures Hurts Distressed Homeowners

Carolyn Adolph

Banks will need four and a half years to clear Washington state's glut of distressed homes from the housing market. That's the report from real estate data firm LPS Applied Analytics. KUOW's Carolyn Adolph reports.


The report says Washington state has 37,000 homes in foreclosure. Lenders have become bogged down by the sheer volume. Marc Cote is a mortgage default counselor. He says the latest wave of distressed homeowners are people who can't pay because they lost their jobs. They are fighting to keep their houses and it's taking a toll.

Cote: "People are very stressed. A high percentage of people are talking about not being able to sleep, being ill. Some people have been in remission for cancer and that's come back."

Four and half years seems like a long time to wait before foreclosure. But Cote says people caught up in this never have any guarantees.

Cote: "I think it would be way better if they knew pretty quickly whether or not they were going to be able to get a workout, than to have the process drag on."

There is new help for people who are in danger of losing their homes because of job loss. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has an emergency mortgage assistance package. It pays past due mortgages and part of the homeowner's future mortgage payments for up to two years. It's an interest–free loan. Applications close soon on July 22.

I'm Carolyn Adolph, KUOW News.

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