Updated 11/08/2010 08:56 PM
North Carolina on pace to break foreclosure record
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RALEIGH – North Carolina is on pace to break last year's foreclosure filing record according to a report released Monday by the North Carolina Justice Center.
The data shows the state could surpass its foreclosure record by the end of the month. The study reports North Carolina is on pace to have almost 70,500 filings this year. Last year, about 63,300 people filed for foreclosure.
The report shows Mecklenburg County leads the state in foreclosures, followed by Wake County and Guilford County.
Rochelle Sparko, a housing attorney for the NC Justice Center, says when the housing crisis first started, most people in foreclosure were victims of subprime loans.
"We have a lot of borrowers coming to us now that are unemployed or underemployed or were unemployed and fell behind, and they're now trying to figure out what if anything they can do to keep their houses," she said.
NC Housing Coalition Director Chris Estes says foreclosures have hit minorities especially hard.
"Now that we've had some time to sift through the data, we know that particularly minorities were targeted, and were 70 percent more likely to get a subprime loan even if they qualified for a prime rate loan, " Estes said.
He thinks the trend of high foreclosures will continue before things stabilize. Housing experts say homeowners who are starting to get behind on their payments should contact a housing counselor immediately.