Unwanted distinction for Ft. Bend County

October 23, 2008 3:35:21 PM PDT
Foreclosures nationwide are up more than 70 percent compared to last year. That's according to a foreclosure tracking site. One of the places seeing a big rise in foreclosures is Fort Bend County. It's among the highest in the state. In Ft. Bend County, where new homes are still being built, where the economy has been relatively stable, there are stacks and stacks of filings for foreclosure.

The company RealtyTrac, which tracks home foreclosures nationally, says that in August, 380 homes, one in 369 homes county-wide, went into foreclosure. That was the greatest percentage of homes in foreclosure in any county in Texas. Compare that to the 2,957 homes, or the one in every 505, that were foreclosed on in Harris County.

Ft. Bend County Clerk Diane Wilson says that's surprising to her since her office has seen less than 500 foreclosure filings in each of the past two months.

"It certainly to me is rather low, I thought, percentage wise compared to the 1980s when we were recording about 4,000 foreclosures a month," she said.

And RealtyTrac admits September showed a bit of a turnaround, with the number of foreclosures in Ft. Bend from August down 16 percent.

Still, all this talk is unnerving for those with adjustable rate mortgages.

Valarie Manning lives across the street from a home that was recently foreclosed on, literally an issue too close to home.

"If our interest rates skyrocket, we might be in trouble," she said.

RealtyTrac says more than 750,000 homes nationwide received foreclosure-related notices between July and September. California, Florida and Arizona are some of the hardest hit. Put those states with Ohio, Michigan and Nevada and that's more than 60 percent of the foreclosures.

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