A local paper reported this week on the increase in the pace of foreclosure filings in most Central Pennsylvania counties this year — putting them on pace to eclipse 2011. After a yearlong hiatus from doom and gloom, it looks to be back in style.
Well, almost. The article made some mention of the possible boon for homebuyers arising from the new inventory of trashed properties to choose from.
You see, the loan-holders were held up in late 2010 by the now-infamous "robo-signing" scandal, where it was made public through several high-profile court cases that some lending establishments had made errors in judgment in the processing of some foreclosures.
The public backlash was immediate, a ready-made scapegoat for the bad economy that played well in the news media. In response and to settle legal challenges, many loan-holders apparently stopped all foreclosure processing pending settlements.
I can personally attest to this as we have had several foreclosures languishing in our town, blighting the neighborhood, for 18 months or more.
The long-awaited settlements came through this past March, according to reports. Now that the federal and state $25 billion is settled, the processing of pending foreclosures rebounded (if such a word should be used) and we're well on our way to substantial increases over 2011 this year.
Is this a good thing? I'm sure it's going to be better for the real estate market in the long run if we move through this dark phase and get the bulk of the foreclosures behind us, resold to the next generation of buyers. I'm just not looking forward to the next generation of doom and gloom media stories.
I for one was glad of "the year we didn't talk about it" simply because the silence on the topic in the mass media allowed some sanity and discussion of other topics to return.
Well, as the kid sitting in front of the TV famously said …"they're back."
Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services, based in Lancaster City, with 10 offices in eight Central Pennsylvania counties. Jeff lives in East Petersburg where he also serves as mayor. Jeff has been actively involved in local government and business and has been used as a source by local, regional and national publications.