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Study: Wake Foreclosures on Rise

According to a community advocacy group, the dream of home ownership has turned into a nightmare for some Wake County residents.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A new study on foreclosures in Wake County has been released, and it suggests some neighborhoods are facing an epidemic.

According to the group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), mortgage companies filed 169 foreclosures in Wake County in 2006. This year, that number has nearly doubled to 283.

The group's study also identifies the top 10 ZIP codes in Wake County with the highest number of those in the foreclosure process in April 2007.

The Wake County ZIP code with the highest number of foreclosures filed in April was 27610 in Raleigh, with 43 total filed. Garner was next with 21 foreclosures filed at the ZIP code, 27529.

Rounding out the top three is another Raleigh ZIP code, 27616, with 20 foreclosures filed in April.

Experts said around 60 percent of foreclosures are from people in the subprime market, those who have less-than-perfect credit histories.

"Credit scores won't be as high as other borrowers, and they'll typically pay higher rates for anything they borrow," said Paul Stock, of the North Carolina Bankers Association.

Stock said the problem is when those borrowers hook up with lenders who try to take advantage of them.

"The biggest contributor has been some poorly conceived lending products either intentionally or unintentionally," he said.

Subprime mortgages often have prepayment penalties and adjustable interest rates that skyrocket, which can pave the way toward foreclosure for people who already struggle with  bills.

State lawmakers did pass the nation's first set of anti-predatory lending laws in 1999, but there are attempts this year to strengthen those laws. One bill makes mortgage fraud easier to prosecute.

Another bill requires that the name of mortgage loan broker be printed on the deed, so that if the home does foreclose, then authorities can track the brokers to see if there's a pattern.


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