The foreclosure problem in metro Atlanta appears to be worsening. More than 10,000 lender-owned properties are scheduled to be sold on courthouse steps next month, according to EquityDepot.net, which tracks foreclosures.
The 10,138 figure for 13 counties shatters the previous record of 8,425 properties scheduled for sale in February, Equity Depot.net says.
“The economic situation we’ve got is causing more and more people to have difficulty making their house payments," said Steve Bridges, president and CEO of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia. “It’s not that surprising given the state of the economy and the number of jobs that have been lost."
The jobless rate in metro Atlanta is 8.7 percent, the highest rate reported since the measurement was standardized in 1976, the Georgia Labor Department said. The local unemployment rate is up 65 percent in the past 12 months.
Foreclosures are a big reason why Atlanta is the third emptiest metro area in America, according to a Forbes.com analysis of Census data.
In the new foreclosure numbers, Fulton leads with 2,181 properties scheduled for sale, followed by Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb counties.
“Until we see some bottoming out, I think we can expect to see numbers like this," said Joe Brannen, president of the Georgia Bankers Association.
Foreclosure sales are held on courthouse steps the first Tuesday of each month. Many properties end up not selling because of settlements and bankruptcy filings. When properties generate little bidder interest, lenders end up taking them back for sale later.
Tina Fountain Realtors is an Atlanta Real Estate company, serving the entire metro Atlanta area.