Foreclosures up 65% in Clark County

May foreclosures rose by nearly 100 over May 2012

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter


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Community Housing Resource Center

What: A nonprofit organization that offers mortgage default counseling to help prevent foreclosure, along with homeowner and credit education classes.

Where: 103 E. 29th St., Vancouver, 98663.

Information: 360-690-4496 or Community Housing Resource Center

Clark County foreclosures rose 65 percent in May above the same month last year, and also inched slightly higher than April's rates, according to a report issued Wednesday.

At least one expert explained the year-over-year uptick as part of a damburst of foreclosures that were tied up last year by negotiations for a $25 billion settlement between 49 state attorneys general and and the nation's five largest mortgage servicers. According to California-based RealtyTrac real estate data firm, Clark County's May foreclosures rose by nearly 100 homes when compared with May of 2012,

"There was a bottleneck in 2012, while the lenders were figuring out their legal footing," said Neal McKeever, program manager at the Community Housing Resource Center in Vancouver, one of the area's only cen

ters that offers counseling certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

With the sixth-highest foreclosure rate in the state, Clark County's 249 households in foreclosure reflect the end of settlement negotiations and clear rules going forward, McKeever said.

That meant 167 Clark County households received a Notice of Trustee's Sale in May, according to RealtyTrac. The notices inform the home's mortgage borrowers that their house will be sold at a trustee's auction.

"They usually know it's coming," McKeever said. He added that homeowners have up to 120 days after receiving the notice to work out a settlement with their lender.

"What they can do is contact an attorney or a HUD-certified counseling center like ours to see if there's still a chance to save the house and avoid foreclosure," he said. The HUD-certified counseling is a mandatory part of the process.