The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022

Ohio foreclosure filings down; still high

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

While mortgage foreclosures are decreasing around Ohio with Van Wert County leading the way foreclosures are still nearly double what they were in the 1990s, according to information recently released by Policy Matters Ohio.

Foreclosure graphic 6-2015According to the Ohio Supreme Court, foreclosures in Ohio decreased by nearly 18 percent, from 53,163 in 2013 to 43,727 last year. That number represents the lowest number of foreclosures since 2001, the year foreclosures began increasing substantially.

The number of filings fell in 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties, with Van Wert and Holmes counties showing the largest decreases. Van Wert County had the biggest percentage of decrease at 47.3 percent (from 110 two years ago to 58 in 2014), while Holmes County’s foreclosures decreased 41.5 percent, from 53 in 2013 to 31 last year.

That’s substantially lower than in 2009, the peak year for mortgage foreclosures. In 2009, Van Wert County saw 207 mortgage foreclosures.

A number of factors have contributed to the declines in foreclosure filing, according to Policy Matters Ohio. The wave of predatory lending that sent foreclosure rates climbing starting in the late 1990s crested and fell with the financial crisis.

Ohio’s economy, though still not robust, has improved since the recession, causing fewer homeowners to fall behind on their mortgage payments. Efforts to prevent foreclosures have kept many thousands from losing their homes.

In some instances, banks may not foreclose on properties because they don’t see enough value in them to do so. And, of course, the thousands of vacant and abandoned properties from earlier foreclosures leave fewer candidates for mortgage foreclosure now. There are fewer homeowners now in many of the neighborhoods that have been hardest hit with foreclosures, and many of those who previously experienced foreclosures have credit score and employment issues that will make it tough for them to buy again in the near future.

The result of these factors and others taken together has been a substantial reduction in the number of foreclosure filings from peak levels.

However, compared to the 1990s, Ohio foreclosures were at least double the total of every year between 1990 and 1996. Despite the recent decrease, since 1995, the number of foreclosure filings has at least tripled in 52 counties, and is up 174 percent statewide. There was one foreclosure for every 117 housing units in the state in 2014.

Moreover, since 2014 foreclosure filings don’t include more than 3,000 tax foreclosure filings of vacant properties being handled through county boards of revision, that means foreclosure filings have not declined quite as much as court filings would suggest.

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POSTED: 06/30/15 at 7:18 am. FILED UNDER: News