Good news, bad news on the foreclosure front
New figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association offer hope that the foreclosure mess is easing, as well as reasons to be anxious that the worst is yet to come.
It's that kind of economy.
Good news: Fewer Marylanders were behind on their mortgages during the spring than in the winter. And the number wending their way through foreclosure proceedings dropped for the first time in four years.
Bad news: The number of newly delinquent borrowers rose -- and both the job market and housing market worsened after the spring.
Borrowers trying to avoid foreclosure do have two new options available.
There's the state's mediation law, which went into effect July 1 and requires that lenders sit down with borrowers if the borrowers request it. And there's HOPE LoanPort, a system that lets participating housing counselors and mortgage servicers trade loan-modification information electronically -- meaning no "we never received your faxed paperwork" excuses.
More details on both in a bit.