Judicial Foreclosures on the Rise

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EUGENE, Ore. — The housing market looks promising for 2013 with home prices rising in Lane County, but a new way of approaching foreclosures has the potential to create a pretty big backlog.

Sergeant Brian Smeltzer with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office is tasked with processing foreclosures. In the past few months, his workload has gotten a lot bigger.

He attributes some of this increased workload to judicial foreclosures, a process that allows banks to sue homeowners over foreclosed homes.

The process is incredibly time consuming for the sheriff’s office, but Sergeant Smeltzer is mandated by the law to handle these lengthy cases.

“We did 13 foreclosures in 2011. Last year in 2012, we did approximately 80-100,” Smeltzer said.

The sherriff’s office is already having to undergo budget cuts and simply can’t hire more help to process the huge amount of foreclosure cases. John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capital, says the process could also have an effect on the economy.

“Judicial foreclosures tend to drag the housing recovery backwards,” Helmick said.

Ultimately, Helmick thinks the extra foreclosures could really start draining the public’s resources.

“It is a burden on people who are out their paying their taxes and paying their mortgage every month,” Helmick said.

While this has the potential to slow down housing recovery, many in Lane County still feel optimistic about where the housing market is headed.


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  1. Nonsense says:

    The real burden on people paying their taxes and mortgages is the continuation of a depressed economy caused by those in the financial industry who drove people out of their homes to begin with. The massive loss of jobs that has occurred in these past years is the primary reason so many people have been unable to make mortgage payments. The burden is not placed on those with jobs but on those who are still struggling to replace the jobs they lost. I think Mr. Helmick would be hard pressed to find any homeowner being foreclosed on who would say that they are happy about that and would choose foreclosure over being able to pay their bills.

  2. George says:

    The sheriff’s dept doesn’t have the money for jail beds or deputies, but has money for this? Typical- Protect corporate interests while throwing taxpayer citizens under the bus.

  3. jason marks says:

    I wouldn’t be worried too much about what some fool from a business named Gorilla Capital thinks.

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