Foreclosures up in Oklahoma County


Friday, October 10th 2008, 11:23 am
By: News 9


By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The number of foreclosures in Oklahoma County is on the rise. According to Foreclosure.com, Oklahoma County saw more than a 22 percent increase last month.

Every other Thursday, foreclosures are for sale at the Oklahoma County Courthouse. The list is getting longer, as the number of foreclosures goes up.

"Sometimes you get people who leave things, sometimes you don't," Paradigm realtor Ernie DeBernard said. "We see these with everything."

Many homes will go on the auction block in the Sheriff's Sale next week.

"Seen an increase in foreclosures, mainly because of past bad loans, helping people with credit, credit problems, credit issues, arm loans," DeBernard said. "Basically, it is people just not being able to make their mortgage and stuff happens."

Ann Marie handles the Sheriff's Sale from the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, and said the list of foreclosures just goes on and on. She said homes, businesses and apartments are all ready for the highest bidder.

"People are very sad, discouraged, scared. I try to give them ideas, like possibly filing bankruptcy if they're in that big of a mess," Marie said.

Bankruptcies are also showing a downward trend.

"We've been on a steady trend up for the last year, year and a half," bankruptcy lawyer Clif Gooding said.

Gooding said many clients have adjustable mortgages, and when the rate increases, they simply cannot pay.

"Families, who are already in a squeeze with escalating interest rates, with no solution, a lot of those people are having to, once they're in foreclosure, file chapter seven and just lose their homes, Gooding said.

DeBernard's watched the industry for years and expects the situation to eventually improve.

"I think we'll have a small turn and get a little worse," DeBernard said. "There is light at the end of the tunnel, it will get better."

In Oklahoma County, so far this year, more than 7 out of every 1000 households has gone through a foreclosure. Nationally, 10 out of every 1000 households has filed for foreclosure.