Capital Region Legal News

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Housing Crisis Isn't Over for Everyone

What parts of the country are still in financial crisis and what can be done to assist them?

Although the financial crisis of the Great Recession has abated in much of the country and several cities, like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, are experiencing record-high real-estate prices, parts of the housing market are not only not recovering, they are actually getting worse.

What parts of the country are affected?

In many areas, including upstate New York, as well as parts of the South and rural Wisconsin, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, far too many people are still struggling to keep afloat. As a matter of fact, approximately 7.5 million people still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth on the open market. This means that they cannot afford to invest in large items like cars or their children's educations, and they may be facing imminent foreclosure.

What are some of the problems caused by foreclosure?

Foreclosures create more and more "zombie" homes -- empty, abandoned and often in dangerous disrepair. Zombie homes drive down over all property values since they make certain neighborhoods appear undesirable. In addition, abandoned foreclosed homes result in more apartment dwellers, driving up the price of rentals and leaving some unlucky residents homeless or dependent on family or friends. 

In counties in which the real estate market is in the most trouble, other facts that adversely affect quality of life tend to prevail as well. Economic instability puts people out of work, keeps students from concentrating on their studies or pursuing higher education, prevents families from keeping up with other bills and home repairs, and increases crime rates.

What are some ways of resolving the crisis?

Some of the programs used to keep neighborhoods financially stable during the Great Recession should continue to be workable now. Neighborhood stabilization and foreclosure prevention efforts, previously used by The Federal Housing Finance Agency and The Federal Housing Administration, could be re-implemented. The Home Affordable Modification Program and the Home Affordable Refinance Program could also be extended past their current expiration dates (the end of 2016). Movements are also afoot to require banks to maintain properties that have been foreclosed so that the surrounding communities don't deteriorate.

When real estate issues of any kind interfere with your home ownership of your quality of life, contact Ianniello Anderson at 518.350.7755, where we are dedicated to serving clients in the Albany, Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Troy and the entire Northeastern NY areas.

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