BANGOR, Maine — The rate of foreclosures in the Bangor area rose from 2.1 percent in May 2008 to 3 percent this May, according to a national agency that collects and compares data, but help could be on the way.
Recent numbers from First American CoreLogic, which monitors home prices, foreclosures and delinquency activity, as well as real estate sales volume and mortgage loan activity, also indicate an increase in mortgage delinquency over the past year in Bangor.
Mortgage delinquencies — defined by First American CoreLogic as anything that is 90 days or more past due — increased from 4.1 percent in May 2008 to 5.7 percent this past May.
The foreclosure and delinquency rates for Bangor are both slightly higher than the rates for the entire state. Overall, Maine had a foreclosure rate of 2.4 percent in May 2009 and a delinquency rate of 5 percent. Nationwide, the foreclosure rate is 2.5 percent and the delinquency rate 6.5 percent.
In the 12-month period from June 2008 to May 2009, there were a total of 440 foreclosure filings in Bangor, according to First American CoreLogic. By comparison, during the previous 12-month period, there were 307 filings.
Earlier this year, data from Maine-chartered banks and credit unions also showed a modest increase in home foreclosures during the first quarter. According to the state Bureau of Financial Institutions, the number of initiated foreclosure proceedings on first mortgages rose from January through March but completed foreclosures were down.
Although the numbers seem troubling, Maine has not been hit as hard as other states when it comes to foreclosures. In addition, a new law has been passed to establish new procedures and create new services to assist homeowners who find themselves facing default or foreclosure.
Sponsored by state Rep. Sharon Treat, D-Hallowell, LD 1418 institutes foreclosure mediation programs in all Maine courts within the next six months. It also provides a centralized location for consumers to obtain comprehensive home foreclosure information and resources, including access to housing counseling services.
Information is available online at www.Credit.Maine.gov or by calling a new toll-free hot line, 888-664-2569.