Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rural Ohio foreclosures rise faster than statewide

Rising unemployment is pushing more rural Ohio homeowners toward foreclosure, and support for them is more difficult to find their urban counterparts, Nick Carey reports for Reuters. Foreclosure rates in Ohio rose by 1.2 percent in 2008, but by 4.9 percent in counties with fewer than 50,000 people.

"The biggest foreclosure growth Ohio has seen in recent years has been in rural areas," David Rothstein, a researcher at Policy Matters Ohio, told Carey. "In some ways rural areas are just beginning to catch up with the cities." Representatives of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People, a non-profit designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, tell Carey that "in politically conservative rural areas, one challenge is persuading people to ask for help because they attach stigma and shame with doing so."

"In urban areas the housing crisis was caused more by poor lending practices," Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray tells Carey. "But in rural areas the crisis is related to the economy." Helping struggling homeowners in rural areas is imperative to organizations like ESOP, member Shane Lightle tells Carey: "In some parts of the state there is simply no one around to help." (Read more)

No comments: