The number of Minnesotans headed towards foreclosure rose sharply during the third quarter, reversing a year-long decline, according to the Minnesota Homeownership Center. Despite the increase, the agency said that the number of pre-foreclosure notices throughout the state is still down compared with last year, a hopeful sign that the worst of the mortgage crisis has passed.
Still, there’s still concern that the declines are simply the result of a pause in processing mortgage defaults as lenders sort out complicated legal issues.During the third quarter, counselors for the Homeownership Advisors Network said that 14,586 of its clients received pre-foreclosure notices, a 23 percent decline from the same time last year, but an increase of 9 percent from the second quarter of 2011 when 13,372 notices were received.
What remains to be seen is whether the shift is an anomaly, or a long-term trend. “We’re waiting with bated breath to see what the 4th quarter will be like,” said Ed Nelson, communications manager for the Homeownership Center. “Will we continue to see an increase because they [lenders] are getting caught back up, or is this just an outlier?”
During the third quarter, 85 percent of the quarter-to-quarter increase in notices happened in the Twin Cities metro area, with almost half of the increase happening in Hennepin County. Nelson and his staff were at a loss to explain why that happened.
If you're behind on your mortgage payment, there's information on the Homeownership Center website, or you can call 651-659-9336.