It’s almost summertime and the market is starting to turn. It’s great news for some but not so great for others.
According to a study released Friday by NeighborWorks America, 58 percent of homeowners who’ve received assistance through its national foreclosure counseling program reported the primary reason they were facing foreclosure was reduced or lost income.
NeighborWorks was created by Congress in 1991 as a nonprofit organization to support local communities in providing its citizens with access to homeownership and affordable rental housing. In January 2008, with the foreclosure crisis raging, Congress implemented the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program and made NeighborWorks the administrator.
The organization says that over the course of the NFMC program, the percentage of homeowners who’ve cited wage cuts or unemployment as the primary reason they were facing foreclosure has steadily increased.
In November 2009, 54 percent of NFMC-counseled borrowers reported reduced or lost income as the main reason for default. Six months earlier in June 2009, it was 49 percent; in February 2009, 45 percent; and in October 2008, 41 percent.
These steady increases parallel the nation’s unemployment rate, which until the November 2009 employment report, had marched upward since October 2008.
“With unemployment numbers not likely to dip below nine percent in 2010, our report proves what many already believed to be true. Unemployment and reduced income are having a devastating effect on our nation’s homeowners,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.
So what does the future hold for real estate? Well as you can see a lot depends on the ability to create jobs in today’s world. WE NEED WORK and we need for Congress to act now to shore up unemployment numbers. This could be a long recovery for our nation – but we WILL recover and we will go back to work.
I look forward to that day.