The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta and Georgia was at 8.7 percent in January. That leaves the possibility of foreclosure a real threat to many looking for jobs.
Consumers facing foreclosure may benefit from the $8.5 billion settlement that major mortgage companies reached in January with federal regulators over abusive foreclosure practices in 2009 and 2010. The settlement also provides $5.2 billion in borrower assistance that could include mortgage modifications.
About $1.5 billion also has been paid out to borrowers in another settlement with major banks whose clients lost their home to foreclosure from Jan. 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2011. An update on the National Mortgage Settlement is available at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com.
Nationally, foreclosure-related activity was down 25 percent from February 2012, according to RealtyTrac, which tracked default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. The activity was highest in Florida, followed by Nevada, Illinois, Ohio, Washington and Arizona.