The Arizona foreclosure epidemic


by Carey Peña / 3TV News @ 10!

Bio | Email | Follow: @@azfamily

Posted on September 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:02 AM

PHOENIX - As we pulled up to a foreclosed home near 16th Street and Glendale in central Phoenix, it is easy to see all this ranch house once was – and could be again.

“So this house is on the market for how much?” we ask Realtor Tracy Smith from HomeSmart as we walk inside, “$174,000. It used to be $318,000.” 

Smith tells us the family who used to live here fought hard to stay. For a year they tried to modify their mortgage and, in the end, the bank foreclosed. 

The family was forced to move out-of-state to live with relatives.
“I’m not only a real estate agent,” Smith says, “I’m a therapist.”
The stories are endless; your stories.
Sue Moore posted this message on our 3TV Facebook page:
“We are still just about managing to pay our mortgage, but not for much longer.”

Eddie Aucion writes:
I was looking at foreclosure notice posted on a home in Tempe, there was a plaque welcoming friends on the porch. Brought home to me these were very nice people living here. What happened to them?
And Kim Hounshell adds:
My dream is dying a slow death and have no hope in the future of regaining this slice of American dream. I have worked hard all of my life just to see it all go away in the blink of a layoff.
“There’s no quick fix. This is a gigantic mess,” Housing Expert Dean Wegner told us when we visited his Scottsdale office.
As messy as it is, he says there is actually some good news to report.

Foreclosures in Arizona are going down. This time last year 66 percent of homes on the market were foreclosures, that number has dropped to 50 percent.
Wegner says, “There’s still a lot of people losing their houses but there are five people to buy every house someone is losing – because it’s a bargain.”
Interest rates hit a 60-year low Thursday.
That might help us recover from the financial part of this housing mess but for many, like the family forced to move from their dream house in central Phoenix, the emotional scars run deep. 
If you have questions for Dean Wegner he'll be joining me on Facebook to answer your questions. To participate connect with Carey Peña on Facebook.