Monday, January 19, 2009

Connecticut Foreclosure Assistance

Help for Sellers Facing Foreclosure
A Foreclosure Mediation Program was created in response to the surge in foreclosures (many homeowners are struggling with their mortgage rates adjusting upward) and the recognition by Judicial, Legislative and Executive Branch officials that there needed to be a way to improve the way foreclosure cases were processed. Our legislature passed Public Act 08-176, An Act Concerning Responsible Lending and Economic Security, which was signed into law in June 2008 by Governor Rell and went into effect July 1, 2008. Under the Act, the Chief Court Administrator was required to create a foreclosure mediation program by July 1, 2008. The goal of CT's Foreclosure Mediation Program is simple - try to keep the homeowners in their homes. The program is the first unified and mandated program in the United States and requires borrowers and their lenders to meet face-to-face so they can negotiate an agreement.

Here are the numbers. The program went into effect July 1, 2008, and as of October 31, 2008, 680 cases have completed mediation with the following results:
361 owners (53%) stayed in their homes, and of those, 270 (40%) had their loans modified, 24 (3%) were reinstated, and 67 (10%) entered into a forbearance plan;
116 owners (17%) moved out of their homes because of a short sale, a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a foreclosure sale date; and
203 cases (30%) were not settled; and
when you combine the "staying in home" and the "moving from home" categories, there's a settlement rate of 70%.

The mediation sessions are held at courthouses throughout the state and the mediators are Judicial Branch employees trained in foreclosure law and mediation. An owner/seller does not need an attorney to participate and everyone who signed the mortgage must attend. This program is a winner all around. The homeowner/borrowers facing foreclosure may get to stay in their homes by negotiating new loan terms with their lender's representative, the lender ends up with a performing loan and is repaid under new or modified terms, and the number of foreclosure cases coming before the court is drastically reduced.

*information obtained from The Connecticut Association of Realtors

Friday, January 02, 2009

Fairfield County Real Estate Market Update

The sales rate of single family homes in Fairfield County throughout 2008 has remained consistent and although sales numbers are down from this time last year, inventory continues to move. There have been 4871 closed sales and an active inventory of 4848 home on the Greater Fairfield County Consolidated Multiple Listing service. That represents a unit sales decrease of 29% vs. 2007 resulting in an 11 month supply of homes on the market, currently. The median selling price county-wide is $505,000 down 10% from the median selling price this same time last year.

Sales over $2MM represent just 5.2% of homes that have sold but 12% of homes on the market waiting to sell. Sales over $3MM represent 2.1% of the total homes sold but 6% of homes currently listed for sale.

There are 360 properties with fully executed contracts waiting to close. The median price of those homes is 25% lower than the median price of closed homes so far this year. There are 179 properties with accepted offers. The median list price of those with accepted offers is $410,000, 18.9% lower than the median selling price for the properties that have closed so far this year.

Sellers and Buyers should talk to their REALOR(R) about market numbers specific to the town they are looking to sell or purchase in.