Foreclosures

An under-maintained home in a black neighborhood.
Miami Valley Fair Housing

Cities in Ohio and around the country are continuing to recover from the housing bust, but some neighborhoods may be having an easier time than others. A new study by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) finds banks are doing a better job with upkeep on foreclosed homes in white neighborhoods than neighborhoods of color.

NFHA worked with groups in 29 metro areas, including Dayton and Toledo, to inspect thousands of bank-owned homes.

Ohio Foreclosure Prevention Program Ending This Week

Apr 28, 2014

A program to help struggling Ohio homeowners prevent foreclosure is coming to an end this week, but there's still time to register for anyone who needs help.

A group of current and former elected officials in Ohio are hoping the state will get a chunk of last year's 13 billion dollar settlement between JP Morgan Chase and the Justice Department.

The plan asks for $200 million to go to Ohio, most of it to knock down houses that the foreclosure crisis left empty and deteriorating. Other funds would support renovation, preventing future foreclosures and revamping vacant land.

It’s got support from Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Ohio’s two senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.

 A complex new set of rules designed to limit risky loans is in place as of this week for mortgage bankers. The regulations were developed in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

That 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law was, among other things, supposed to make it harder for banks to issue mortgages fast and loose.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Recently Dave Chesar of Oakwood heard a story we did about the 6,000 abandoned properties in Dayton.

"At the end of the piece it said that the one thing that needs to happen is people need to start purchasing the properties," Chesar said. So he wondered: how do you actually do that? Who do you call? Is there a list? "Who really is the person, or group that can kind of transform those 6,000 vacant and distressed properties into properties that have a name, price and location?"

It’s been five years since the housing bubble burst. Lots of people in the Dayton area lost their homes to foreclosure, and many of those homes are still sitting vacant.

Before the housing bust, McCarthy says his work at the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center often focused on discriminatory lending and rental practices; they were trying to get people of color into homes. But since the housing bust, he says the center has shifted focus towards keeping people in the greater Dayton area in their homes, through fighting foreclosures and seeking refinancing.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

A story in Bloomberg earlier this week found that hedge fund Magnetar has bought up a significant chunk of the rental stock in Montgomery County’s Huber Heights—and then requested a major reduction in those properties’ values. That reduction, if approved, could affect the city’s taxes and levies.

Diana Parkhouse

The number of homes sold in Ohio in August has hit a new high, and, home sales are maintaining a steady, upward trend in the Dayton area as well.

 From July to August in the Dayton market, there was virtually no change in the number of properties sold. But compared to the same time last year, sales volume was up by 19%.

Ohio has received federal approval to spend a portion of its remaining foreclosure crisis funds to demolish nearly 5,000 vacant and abandoned homes statewide.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency says the effort is intended to stabilize local property values, address neighborhood blight and prevent future foreclosures.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury okayed use of $60 million of $270 million remaining in state Hardest Hit Funds for the effort.

The agency originally received $570 million in 2010 for its foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.

The state attorney general says Ohioans who lost homes to foreclosure and are eligible claimants under last year's national mortgage settlement will be sent payments during the next week. 

Attorney General Mike DeWine says the checks will be worth about $1,480 for each loan serviced and can help Ohioans facing financial hardship. More than 32,000 loan claims were accepted in Ohio.

Borrowers who lost homes to foreclosure sales between 2008 and 2011 were eligible for payments under the settlement if they met certain requirements. 

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