Foreclosures grew by 50.1 percent in 2008 over the previous year in Oklahoma, a new survey has found.
RealtyTrac, a real estate data service, estimates in its report that 12,465 properties, or 0.78 percent of all homes in the state, went through foreclosure last year. That also was a 33 percent increase from 2006.
Although Oklahoma numbers increased, the national picture was even worse. The 2.33 million foreclosures in 2008 was 81.24 percent above 2007 and 224.8 percent over 2006.
Margo Mitchell, executive director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service in Tulsa, said the past year shows that the state isn’t immune to the housing crash that plagues much of the nation.
“We really have been isolated from the problem until the latter half of 2008,” she said. “We’re now beginning to see the same things that occurred in other parts of the country, though not the same extent.”
The number of people coming to her organization for help with home payments grew steadily in the last three months of the year and continues increasing, Mitchell said.
According to RealtyTrac’s estimates, 4,777 homes in the Tulsa metro area were foreclosed, up 35.25 percent from 2007 and representing 1.22 percent of all homes in the area. The figures gave the metro area the 66th highest foreclosure rate in the nation.
Oklahoma City was 78th, with 4,977 foreclosures representing 0.97 percent of homes there.
Tulsa County District Court records showed 3,340 foreclosure filings in 2008, up 14.2 percent from 2,926 filed in 2007.
The court only measured Tulsa County, while RealtyTrac includes seven counties in the Tulsa metro area. Some filings also cover multiple properties.
While both sets of figures indicated an increase in foreclosures, they are not affecting local lenders equally. Jeff Sargent, president of the Residential Mortgage Division at ONB Bank and Trust Co., said his bank has not experienced an big rise in foreclosures.
“We haven’t seen such a dramatic increase as Realty Trac reported, though we often see people seeking loans to buy a house that has been foreclosed on by a bigger bank, which slows down the buying process,” Sargent said.
ONB did not approve risky loans to people who could not afford them in the long run, unlike larger banks that relied heavily on such loans.
The top state for foreclosures in 2008 was Nevada, up 125.74 percent from 2007. A full 7.3 percent of Nevada homes entered foreclosure last year.
Information from: Tulsa World, www.tulsaworld.com
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