Foreclosures: Better but still not great

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.”

Bonus charts

Number of Minnesota home foreclosures:


Rate of foreclosures by county in 2011


Source: Minnesota Home Ownership Center

— Paul Tosto

  • Tim

    Sherburne County had the highest foreclosure rate in the state in 2010 as well, IIRC. What is it about the north metro suburbs and exurbs that make them so impacted by this (not that the south metro is doing much better)?

  • bsimon

    Fascinating. Perhaps that map helps explain the great divide between the supporters of Kline, Cravack, Bachmann & Paulsen vs Ellison, Mccollum, Walz & Peterson.