Monday, December 13, 2004

Phoenix Foreclosure Notices Approach 300 Per Week

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2004--Northern California based, an investment advisory firm specializing in foreclosure properties reported today that foreclosure activity in Maricopa County has increased in October and November 2004.

"We saw 1165 new notices of trustee sales in the Phoenix metro area in October, and 1254 in November," said president Alexis McGee. She added that a total of 4,996 sales were pending in November, up from 4873 in October.

"This rise in foreclosure activity is a disturbing trend," McGee said, "because the Phoenix area economy is in full recovery and housing sales are still strong. 20% of home sales are to incoming retirees who often bring cash and stable incomes with them."

Ms. McGee went on to say that she suspected predatory lending as a major contributing factor. "Arizona has yet to join at least 20 other states in enacting legislation to curb abusive lending practices," she pointed out. "We applaud State Attorney General Terry Goddard's determination to do something about this, but we don't see a lot of progress."

Ms. McGee said that Arizona's population is over-weighted with elderly and Spanish-speaking citizens who are easy prey for the predators. "These lenders put people into loans with outrageous fees and terms the borrowers cannot possibly meet. Then they just wait for the inevitable default and foreclose. There's no doubt in my mind that some of these lenders were after the property in the first place."

She expressed concern that A.G. Goddard's anti-predatory lending initiative might meet resistance in Arizona's legislature. "Dean Martin, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said that he opposes more regulation, fearing it would mean fewer people could get loans, but predatory lending is costing Arizonans dearly every year."

In response to Martin's comment that "more effort toward education, not regulation, is much more doable," Ms. McGee said that education would not stop predatory lending. "As long as they can do business in Arizona, the predators will find victims."

According to the National Institute of Money in Politics, Martin's largest contributor in 2004 was the "Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Sector." has been tracking foreclosures and assisting investors since 1992, and serves markets in California, Phoenix, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, Chicago, IL, New York metro and the state of New Jersey.


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