Local News

Real Estate Agents Spread the Word on Avoiding Foreclosures

Posted July 4, 2007 5:31 p.m. EDT
Updated July 5, 2007 9:05 p.m. EDT

— A group of local real estate agents who want to stop to the growing number of foreclosures in Wake County took to the streets Wednesday to help educate people about their options when buying a home.

"We don't want to see people losing their homes. So, we're trying to get out and educate people and work with people so they don't have to," real estate agent Darlette McCormick said.

House foreclosures in Wake County have nearly doubled this year, according to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. In 2006, mortgage companies filed 169 foreclosures; as of June 20 of this year, the number was 283 for the year.

"It's very high, especially in the southeast end of Raleigh," said real estate agent Brenda Allison, who along with McCormick, is involved in the campaign "Save the American Dream for Southeast Raleigh."

The group is going door-to-door throughout the summer and plans to hold seminars to educate prospective home buyers about problems that can lead to foreclosure.

Predatory lenders are one of the biggest contributors to foreclosures, the group says.

"Because there's some loan officers that's here today, gone tomorrow," Allison said. "There's a lot of them that aren't in there long enough to be educated of what program fits the homeowner."

A good example of that, McCormick said, is a loan officer recommending the prospective homeowner take out an interest-only loan, which doesn't work for everybody because it requires the borrower to maintain a good credit standing.

"So, when it's time to refinance, they actually have credit problems," McCormick said. "Their credit is actually worse than it was when they got in their home, and they're not able to refinance."

Homeowners here say they are glad to see real estate agents trying to help, especially when they see neighbors who have already lost their homes.