Minnesota is starting to recover from the mortgage crisis — foreclosures are down, as are the number of homes getting pre-foreclosure notices and the number of sheriffs sales, 2011 data released this afternoon by the Minnesota Home Ownership Center show.
That’s good news, although it’s still a fact that foreclosure numbers have not returned to “normal,” 2005 levels and there are still deep pockets of problems — especially in the metro’s northern ex-urb counties.
The report also throws out a fascinating tidbit: The mortgage crisis is no longer about sub-prime madness.
“The vast majority of the homeowners served by foreclosure counseling have fixed-rate prime mortgages,” the center’s report notes. “This marks the continuation of a pattern that began three years ago, as the foreclosure crisis transitioned from a sub-prime mortgage problem to an unemployment problem.”
It’s worth reemphasizing that point. Most of the problems now are tied to your typical, conventional mortgage loans, not the any-terms-you-want craziness of a few years ago. It’s essentially a jobs issue now.
If nothing else, the center’s report shows counseling helps more than perhaps we realize. Some 10,000 families received free foreclosure prevention help and the centers said, “of the closed cases where outcomes are known, 60 percent of these households were able to avoid foreclosure.”
Number of Minnesota home foreclosures:
Rate of foreclosures by county in 2011
Source: Minnesota Home Ownership Center
– Paul Tosto