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Foreclosure rate decline likely little solace to those in one

Fewer than 1,600 homes in the North Texas area were slated for foreclosure during a lender's auction earlier this month. That's the word from the Foreclosure Listing Service.

That is likely to be taken as good news by most people. But we suspect that for the hundreds of property owners who are now confronted with the possibility of having losing their homes to foreclosure it is of little consolation. 

Many may feel they have no options open to them to protect their homes. If they have not consulted with an attorney experienced in the area of bankruptcy protection, they likely are operating in the blind. With so much at stake, it is important to get all the facts.

According to the service, the filings of foreclosure on residences in the four-county area this month are down nearly 25 percent what they were a year ago at this time. Compared to 2010, when foreclosures peaked, the numbers are down by about a third.

Denton County saw the biggest decline. Filings reportedly are down by about one third there. In Tarrant and Collin counties, the filings were down about a quarter and in Dallas County, the FLS data shows a decline of about 20 percent.

One economist at Texas A&M University's Real Estate Center says things have gotten so much better on the residential housing front that he predicts homeowners in trouble can probably sell, cover their outstanding mortgage debt and maybe even make a profit.

Whether that scenario might be possible or even desired in a given situation is something that should be examined carefully before action is taken. For some, bankruptcy may be a better tool for achieving needed debt relief without losing the home. 

Source: The Dallas Morning News, "Dallas-Fort Worth foreclosure filings fall to almost decade low," Steve Brown, March 4, 2014

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