Home foreclosures on the rise in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Home foreclosures on the rise in Dubuque

By Lauren Squires

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Foreclosure sales in the largest US cities tripled in the first ten months of 2008. That's according to Radar Logic Incorporated.

A different category, motivated sales, are those that include foreclosure auctions and banks selling homes taken over for non-payment.

From January to October of last year they increased some 193% from the same time period one year earlier. We're seeing more and more of these local home auctions.

While realtors say it's not nearly as bad in Iowa, foreclosures are on the rise and it's expected to get better before it gets worse.

The number of foreclosed homes in Dubuque has nearly double since last year. And it's a process that's becoming a market of it's own.

Terry Duggan has seen his fair share of housing market ups and downs. As a realtor in Dubuque he's seen the best and the worst.

"1980 was the worst market ever. This one doesn't pail interest rates were at 18% just an off the chart number. You were lucky to sell anywhere, average realtor that would sell 30 houses now would sell 2 or 3," said Duggan.

But over the course of the last year he's dealt with more and more home foreclosures in Dubuque.

"Most of the properties that are being foreclosed on are properties that were high risk loans that typically a conventional financial institute would not handle," said Duggan.

One home off Custer Street was foreclosed in December. Ken Runde with the Dubuque County Sheriff's department says this is the worst he's seen it in years.

"The economy hasn't been this bad since the Great Depression," said Runde.

According to the Sheriff's Department: in 1995 they auctioned just five homes. In 1999 - 19. And the number has grown each year. From 87 in 2007 to 135 in 2008. And that number is expected to rise in 2009.

"It effects the whole community from top to bottom. It's a shame that they got caught up in it, it's a shame that we let it happen, that nobody did anything to stop, help with stopping it," said Runde.

Duggan says many home owners put little money down on a mortgage. Add to that the gradually decline in the economy and he says it was bound to happen.

Both Runde and Duggan say it's never easy to foreclose a home. And unfortunately it's expect to get worse before it gets better.

Experts say you can avoid foreclosure by making a larger down payment on your mortgage, setting aside proper funds ahead of time, and prioritizing where your money is spent.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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