Although the housing market may be improving, many families here in Atlanta are still struggling and this is evidenced by the number of foreclosed and vacant homes in the area. A recent news report published by USA Today states that one in five homes nationwide that are in the foreclosure process have been abandoned by homeowners. Atlanta is among the cities with the most vacant homes.
Based on data from RealtyTrac, of the 101 largest metro areas in the country, Atlanta has the ninth most homes that stand abandoned as the result of foreclosures.
According to the report, about 28 percent of homes that are being foreclosed in the larger Atlanta metropolitan area have been abandoned. That makes a total of 3,071 vacated homes.
Of course, Atlanta has been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, with home prices dropping by 26 percent from 2007 to the end of 2012.
Interestingly, most of the other cities with high rates of abandonment of homes in foreclosure have very long foreclosure processes. This is not true of Atlanta, where the average foreclosure time is about 199 days. However, this wait time is much longer than it was just one year ago.
It is important that Georgia residents are aware that being delivered a foreclosure notice does not mean that you immediately need to abandon or vacate your home. In many cases, it may be possible to stall or stop foreclosure.
One option may be to file for bankruptcy, which places a stay on the foreclosure process and allows homeowners to straighten out their finances and take advantage of a fresh start. This may not be the best option for all homeowners who face foreclosure. Those facing foreclosure may benefit from discussing their financial situation with a bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney to learn whether a viable option exists to save their homes.
Source: USA Today, "Cities with the most abandoned homes," Mike Sauter, June 22, 2013