By Jason Allen Video Repots - Home foreclosures on the rise
A growing number of people in Brown County aren't paying their bills, putting them in danger of losing their homes.
Court records show home foreclosures were up more than 30 percent in 2006 -- and 2007 is starting off much the same way.
With enticing offers like no-money-down loans, combined with falling home prices and affordable interest rates, it is easier than ever to get money for a home. But an increasing number of people, at least in Brown and other Wisconsin counties, aren't paying for the homes they buy.
Court records show there were just over 500 foreclosure lawsuits filed in 2005 just in Brown County. In 2006 there were more than 670, an increase of 34 percent.
The Brown County Sheriff's Department reports it scheduled 460 foreclosure auctions last year -- quite a few more than the 314 it scheduled in 2005, representing an increase of 46 percent.
Financial planner Lloyd Leuthner says adjustable rate mortgages that have moved higher could be partly to blame. "If you were barely making it before, you're not going to make it with a larger rate," says Leuthner.
Often, though, people are just buying big houses with big payments they just can't afford, Leuthner says.
"In some cases it's just pure irresponsibility, where you bought too much home, you leveraged or borrowed more money than you should have. And in that case, those people should really go out and get an extra job and just find a way to make those payments."
As 2007 rolls in, the foreclosure trend doesn't show any signs of slowing. Tuesday there are a couple foreclosures in Brown County courts, and the sheriff's department says it's already scheduling property sales and auctions deep into March and April.