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Record High Foreclosure Rate Could Be Good for Buyers

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

A new report shows the rate of San Diego home foreclosures jumped 100 percent in April, compared to the same time last year. That's a staggering increase for one year, especially since San Diego's foreclosure rate was already so high.

Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac says there were 5,300 foreclosures in San Diego last month. He says the vast majority of foreclosures here are in an early stage, before the bank can repossess -- and Sharga says banks don't want to do that. He says homeowners should immediately seek help if they can't pay the mortgage.

"Hiding is the worst strategy, and reaching out and telling the bank you're really interested in figuring out a way to make the situation work can only pay dividends," Sharga says.

He says the foreclosure crisis will likely get worse before it gets better.

"It's very likely we're going to end the year at another peak, in terms of foreclosure activity, before we find a way to work through this problem," Sharga says.

Sharga says this could be good news for the hopeful homebuyer. Foreclosed properties are less expensive, and banks want to get rid of them as fast as possible.

Then again, banks want to prevent another crisis like the one we're in now, so they have made it harder to get loans.

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