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Maryland suffering from continued high foreclosure rates

For some states, foreclosure rates have begun to stabilize or drop in the years following the Great Recession. Residents in Maryland have not been so lucky. Statistics place the state within the top three in the nation for foreclosure rates, and Baltimore has been listed in the top five major metropolitan areas. In fact, foreclosure activity has soared by nearly 120 percent annually in the city of Baltimore, which outpaces its East Coast companions by a good measure; New York only saw a 40 percent increase, and Philadelphia a 14 percent uptick.

So, why is Maryland suffering such high foreclosure rates? The situation may not be as dire as it sounds. In fact, many Maryland residents are only now facing foreclosure after a massive paperwork backlog that remained from the housing crisis several years ago. The state had to take time to negotiate a financial settlement with lenders, which stalled many foreclosure proceedings.

Experts say that the housing market may even be recovering in several areas throughout the state. Foreclosure rates are expected to stabilize and perhaps even drop in the near future, as lenders are finally dealing with their enormous backlog of delinquent loans. Further, statisticians point out that many of the numbers provided compare annual numbers -- January 2013 against January 2014, for instance -- instead of looking at more recent trends. A 10 percent drop in foreclosures occurred between December and January.

Washington D.C. residents who are among those facing foreclosure need not feel alone during the process. A Washington D.C. bankruptcy attorney may be able to help clients learn more about their legal rights and options. These lawyers may provide additional information about financial options that can sometimes help homeowners with the goal of stopping foreclosure.

Source: Maryland foreclosures rise for 19th straight month, "The Business Journals" Kevin Litten, Feb. 13, 2014

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