A new report says Pennsylvania has some of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.
Last year, nearly 31,000 properties across the Commonwealth were foreclosed, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. Some housing agencies say part of the problem is due to predatory lending and loan scams.
“Pennsylvania remains high, in particular, compared to other states, because of predatory lending,” said Sam Milkes, executive director of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
He says the symptoms of the housing crisis of the mid-2000’s never really went away.
“Maybe they’re not regarding it as the same crisis anymore, but people are still losing their homes,” said Milkes.
Jennifer Wintermyer, executive director for Tri County Community Action, says some Obama-era regulatory protections have expired or are being phased-out. She says that’s why home-buyers and homeowners need to watch out for scams.
“We always caution people to beware of scams. Agencies that are not licensed are going to offer you the sun, the moon and the stars for very little money,” said Wintermyer.
Wintermyer, who’s group offers loan counseling services, says people should look for problems with their mortgage or home equity loan before they agree to it. She says it’s never too late to call a certified loan counselor.
“It’s a service you don’t realize exists until you need it,” said Wintermyer.
Lori Toia with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency says people should not wait to get a foreclosure notice before they reach out for help. She says it’s important to call your bank, lender or go to www.phfa.org.
Housing and foreclosure resources: