[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 50°F  
High: 62°F ~ Low: 46°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Home foreclosures on the rise in Putnam County

Saturday, February 16, 2008

(Photo)
The front door and window of this Greencastle house bear notice of foreclosure.
America's mortgage crisis has hit home. Across the country, 1.6 million borrowers defaulted on their mortgages last year. Some of them are here in Putnam County. Houses that once were homes to families with kids and dogs and gerbils, now stand empty with notices stuck to the windows.

Since the beginning of 2008, 32 homes have been sold in this area. According to Nancy Fogle, a local real estate agent, 40 percent of them had been foreclosed. One in particular is a beautiful place in the woods just outside of Greencastle. It has five bedrooms, four baths, plenty of living space and a great view. It once sold for $230,000. After foreclosure, it sold for $119,900, a bargain for somebody. But that drop in price could affect the appraised value of other homes in the same neighborhood.

Lending policies throughout the county vary. Greencastle's National City Bank, for example, has had no recent foreclosures. Charles Green, a mortgage originator there, explained, "People with sub-prime loans are just one paycheck away from disaster." Even the rising price of gas for a long commute might be enough to put a house payment out of reach.

Sub-prime loans are risky. They go to people who have a credit history that might include little or no savings, bankruptcy, bad debts, or low income. Such loans can prove to be expensive. Often a cheap introductory interest rate quickly can jump two or three point. In the past, when house prices were rising, borrowers in trouble could sell and even turn a profit. Now the market has slowed and the result looks like disaster. Sub-prime adjustable rate loans represented 6.8 percent of America's outstanding mortgages in 2007, but they accounted for 43 percent of foreclosures.

According to a local attorney, "easy pay" mortgages have no margin for error. People have no investment, no equity in their homes so when trouble hits, they have no bargaining position to get them through a hard time.

With so many home owners unable to make their payments, America's lending institutions are out billions of dollars, and the entire economy is in a nosedive. Looking for a way out, the federal government has been putting pressure on lenders to come up with ways to salvage the situation. Last May, a group of major banks and loan servicers promised to "create a permanent solution," if possible, for subprime borrowers.

"Hope Now", another program, came along next with a promise to freeze interest rates on many subprime loans starting this year. This week "Project Lifeline" made promises to delay foreclosure proceedings for 30 days while borrowers try to negotiate better deals. No results of any of these efforts have been reported, but people in Putnam County keep losing their homes.

The process begins when a homeowner receives 30 days notice to foreclose. Next, the lender asks the court for a judgment against the owner to take the land in payment. The final act is a sheriff's sale where the house is sold at auction. Sheriff's sales are announced in the BannerGraphic and posted on a bulletin board in the lobby of the sheriff's office. On Valentine's Day, there were 34 postings on that board describing houses to be auctioned in the next month.

Early in his presidency, George W. Bush defined owning a home as the American Dream. Now, late in his second term, the mortgage foreclosure crisis has become America's nightmare.


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on bannergraphic.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

I think the article has a mistake. How can there be 4% of 32 sales be foreclosed? That would be 1.38 sales. If we only had one out of 32 sales being forclosed that would be a good thing. I am taking the leap that 4 out of 32 sales were foreclosed. A side note, not all foreclosed properties go through MLS. Second of all National City Bank is the smallest residentiual home lender in the Putnam County Market, not exactly the best source of insight. Countrywide is one of the largest sub-prime lenders in the US and by far the largest in Putnam County. Sloppy work, reminds me of Vance Packard book,Lying with Statistics.

-- Posted by NeverChanges on Sat, Feb 16, 2008, at 7:19 AM

You are so right neverchanges about some shoddy reporting. I grew up in Greencastle, I now live in Missouri. I check this website regularly for news from home and see this kind of thing all the time. It's almost like they don't do much leg work on stories. More research needs to be done in order to perform your job correctly. Try making more than one phone call next time.

-- Posted by turtleluv on Sat, Feb 16, 2008, at 9:24 AM

Don't believe everthing you hear on the news and in the newspaper, most stories about the housing market "crisis" are false.

-- Posted by putnamcountymatters2me on Sat, Feb 16, 2008, at 10:11 AM

I DEFINITELY BELIEVE THIS STORY TO BE TRUE. WE CAN THANK THE CURRENT REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION FOR THIS MESS.....WHAT HAPPENED TO "TAKE FROM THE RICH?" NOW IT'S "GIVE TO THE RICH, AND SCREW THE REST OF US!

-- Posted by Michele1953 on Sat, Feb 16, 2008, at 3:31 PM

No, couldn't be George's fault. How could beating down American wages and benefits with illegal aliens and job outsourcing while driving the costs of all goods and services through the ceiling with fuel prices have anything to do with people making their mortgage payments on time? It must be those darned Democrats. Nothing's wrong with the housing market, we're not in a recession, it's just your imagination. It's nothing that a little waterboarding won't clear up.

-- Posted by westforty on Sun, Feb 17, 2008, at 3:07 PM

Molon Labe

We share common ground. I'm not party preferrential but usually vote Republican, mostly because of issues that directly affect my life like family, gun rights, etc., and yes, amnesty for illegals but McCain is not going to be the answer to any of our current problems.

I have to disagree with you on Bush's control of oil as his family's empire is the largest importer/exporter in the world. Our tax dollars have been squandered in a war securing the oil interests of the middle east, prices continue to rise at the pumps and the oil companies are declaring record profits.

Many people believe that the illegal workforce in this country does not affect Putnam County because they don't see many around here, the ones that are here are truly performing jobs that no one wants to do for a slave rate of pay. Other communities in Indiana and the rest of the country have been run over by them in all facets of the American workforce. This has created a wage demograph for the entire country. Our local manufacturing competes in a global market and cannot survive against the corporations that are employing slave labor.

Below is an example of what is infuriating me. It's a transcript from a Senate Hearing inquiry that was broadcast on C-span. It's just a tiny glimpse of what our so-called leaders are doing and the constituents that they really represent, "The Haves and the Have mores".

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/1279...

It's no wonder (or accident) that so many families are losing their homes.

-- Posted by westforty on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 8:16 AM

I youst to live at that house

-- Posted by JacobGibson on Mon, Feb 18, 2008, at 8:07 PM

A hypothetical here... If I was going to buy a $60,000 house, my payments are what about $350/month? So, even if I lost my job, couldn't I go work at McDonald's or the BannerGraphic and make that a week?

Stop trying to live like millionaires and you can make that house payment.

-- Posted by GuardNCO on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 8:08 AM

That's what it boils down to. Just stop trying to live above your means, as many do. Cut back. And by the way, those that have no down payment and are losing their homes should be concerned even though there is no equity because now they have bad credit on top of everything else. It takes years to change that. Some people see foreclosure as an easy way out. What about the gas hogs they're driving around? Get rid of the big trucks and SUVs and save a little money for the mortgage. And it REALLY wouldn't hurt to get a Democrat in office. It's pretty obvious that Republican isn't the answer!

-- Posted by bannerstuff on Tue, Feb 19, 2008, at 9:56 AM

Wow, okay, first off, I am not a Republican or a Democrat, I am an American. All this hubub about voting and casting blame..heheh. Unfortunately, I DID pay attention in government class and in that class I found out that though the electorial votes are SUPPOSE to reflect the popular vote, these good folk still only get one vote in the election and they STILL have a choice. They DO NOT HAVE TO VOTE WITH US! George W won because of the electorial votes folks, Al Gore is who THE PEOPLE voted for! Check it out to see if what i say is true.(and yes it's possible that they might have profited from their vote, although that is illegal) Democrats who rushed out to vote in the primaries should know that if the Super Delegates (special, rich gov't folk) decide that the person we (aheem) nominated is totally unsuitable, they will pick who they want anyway. SO, why bother? Really, why all the media hype? All the crap with Obama and Clinton will just insure that whichever Republican runs, they will win and we won't even notice it. (Bush is endorsing McCaine)Pretty Slick if you ask me. Meanwhile billions of dollars are pouring into this war, we are donating money here and there, wow, where are they getting all this money? I wonder why our economy is so bad? They keep saying that people aren't spending, but I have to say that most of the people I know are not spending because they DON'T HAVE IT TO SPEND! I am sure that the people losing their homes didn't go into it thinking.."wow, in a couple of years I can just let the bank have it!" Come on people, we have to change our govenment. Not fight with each other over the failing one we have right now!

-- Posted by Another Michelle on Wed, Feb 20, 2008, at 1:39 PM

Molon Labe -Greek huh? Student,Professor or web-surfer..lol

Nope, sorry about your luck. Not a democrat, so you can slam em all you want. In fact the only reason I even registered to vote was when Ross Perot was going to run. I liked that little man. I liked his graphs and lengthy explainations. "^_^" You can laugh and make fun if you want, but I would have voted for Ralph Nader too! Only he didn't make it to our ballot.

If you had read my previous comment more thoroughly, you might have seen that I did refer to the Super Delegates as a Democratic group. Just in case you don't though, I will copy and paste it for you, >"Democrats< who rushed out to vote in the primaries should know that if the Super Delegates (special, rich gov't folk) decide that the person we (aheem) nominated is totally unsuitable, they will pick who they want anyway. SO, why bother?"

As to the lost election, you would feel differently if your republican had lost...lol.

You know, you are very argumentative. ;-) I like it..lol.

-- Posted by Another Michelle on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 10:29 PM

This country will never solve serious problems like this one until people begin to step up and take individual responsibility for themselves and their families. Ms. Bode and her ilk will always blame the President and be quick to determine that the responsibility is governments.

Owning a home continues to be an American Dream. People need to make sure they don't overstep their ability to pay. The subprime market should help people get started. They just need to investigate what it can mean down the road. Good luck to all who are currently struggling with this.

-- Posted by justasking on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 8:41 AM

To Guard NCO. A $60,000.00 home will cost you $600.00 per month! If you make $7.25 an hour. How in the world can a person make their house payment & EAT TOO ?

-- Posted by fourhorses on Thu, Feb 28, 2008, at 4:18 AM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: