Alabama foreclosures 38th in nation

Foreclosure filings in Alabama have been rising in the past year, but the problem in the state isn’t nearly as severe as in others.

RealtyTrac, a California firm that tracks mortgage defaults across the nation, on Tuesday pegged Alabama’s July foreclosure rate at No. 38 among the states.

Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee all had worse rates, as measured by the number of households for each filing.

The situation is more dire in Georgia, which had the nation’s second highest rate last month, according to RealtyTrac. Only Nevada’s was higher.

Alabama has been somewhat shielded by its robust economy and stable housing prices, said Mickey Green, president of Coldwell Banker Green & Co., a Hoover real estate firm.

“Alabama is not losing jobs like many other states and our housing prices didn’t fluctuate drastically like so many other areas,” Green said. “Foreclosures are up so much in other states because when their mortgages readjusted upwards, their homes didn’t appraise for what they paid for them.”

RealtyTrac says the nation’s foreclosure activity in July was concentrated in a handful of states.

“While 43 states experienced year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity, just five states – California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia – accounted for more than half of the nation’s total foreclosure filings,” said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio.

That doesn’t mean Alabama is not feeling the pinch.

Filings across Alabama jumped from the same month in 2006, with RealtyTrac saying 499 homes across the state entered some stage of the foreclosure process last month. That is 62.5 percent higher than the figure for July 2006.

By ROY L. WILLIAMS, The Birmingham News

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