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Foreclosure rates skyrocket in Maryland

Many residents of the Washington, D.C., area may have thought the worst of the economic crisis had already passed, but a fresh wave of foreclosures may indicate that all is not well with the local financial picture. Experts say the 6-month period from January to June of this year caused Maryland's foreclosure rates to skyrocket from among the lowest in the country to the third-highest in the nation.

The financial picture has not changed because more people have recently experienced foreclosure. Rather, experts say the backlog of foreclosure proceedings that had clogged up courtrooms throughout the state has finally been dealt with, leaving residents reeling with the second massive wave of foreclosures. Still, the numbers are not as dramatic as they became during the peak of the recession. From June to March of this year, just 9,339 foreclosures were filed, compared to 16,788 filed during the latter part of 2009.

One major change that is noticeable among the foreclosure trends is a departure from the concentration in Prince George's County and Baltimore. Instead, the foreclosures are now shifting throughout the state. Most affected are regions in which the economic downturn has been slow to reverse and where unemployment rates remain high. For many, the financial situation may feel like 2008, even though five years have passed.

Gurus said they had been expecting a second wave of foreclosures as early as 2010, when the state was forced to abandon foreclosure proceedings to deal with a massive documentation problem through national lenders. Throughout that period, foreclosure filings accumulated in the courts; only now have they begun to be discharged. Maryland used to have one of the quickest foreclosure timelines in the nation, but it now stretches to a shocking 575 average days.

If your home is facing foreclosure, you may have financial and legal options that you have not yet explored. Consider seeking assistance from a qualified bankruptcy attorney to find out more about your rights and responsibilities in court. You do not have to face foreclosure or bankruptcy on your own; contact an attorney today.

Source: articles.washingtonpost.com, "Thousands of Marylanders are losing homes in second wave of foreclosures" Annys Shin, Aug. 10, 2013

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