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USHUD.com, Heavy Hammer Inc. Predict Foreclosure Rates Doubling in 2010

Foreclosure experts at USHUD.com and Heavy Hammer Inc. see a confluence of factors driven by financial industry practices and changing government policies and regulations exacerbating an already devastated housing market in 2010. The resulting effect will be a doubling of real estate foreclosure rates in this year.

The first and most obvious factor is the unemployment rate that continues to languish in the 10 percent range nationally, and often much higher regionally. Similar unemployment rates have historically affected 20 to 30 percent of home owners’ ability to make their scheduled mortgage payments.

The second factor is the significant constriction of lending due to tightening mortgage requirements, according to USHUD.com CEO Michael Urbanski.

“The mortgage pendulum is now swinging too far to the opposite spectrum of what we saw at the height of the real estate market,” Urbanski said. “Lending institutions are creating hurdles so high that it will put qualified homebuyers back six to 12 months in the buying cycle.”

Urbanski also reports struggling homeowners who seek loan modifications are increasingly experiencing difficulties qualifying for programs that could stave off foreclosure. “The current qualifications are so absurd they require the home owner to prove that they do not need a modification in order to get one,” said Urbanski. Even the administration has announced new, stricter documentation requirements beginning June 1 for its Making Home Affordable program, which has seen underwhelming results since its inception last March.

Citing a National Association of Realtors study that finds the average U.S. home depreciated 12 percent year-over-year from 2008 through 2009, Urbanski says selling will become an impossible proposition for a growing number of underwater homeowners.

“Watch the horizon,” said Urbanski. “Left unchecked, the perfect storm may be only one more bad policy away.”

Headquartered in Annapolis, Heavy Hammer Inc., is an online networking and consulting company advocating for American homebuyers, connecting them with trusted experts and valuable resources. Driving one of the most widely used suites of foreclosure Web sites, Heavy Hammer delivers free, all-inclusive lists of foreclosure properties to more than 500,000 homebuyers monthly. In business since 1998, Heavy Hammer has focused on geographically-based ad serving technology and processes allowing thousands of professionals to target specific locations, connecting directly with consumers in specific locations. Starting with USHUD.com, this group of sites now includes more than 30 state- and region-specific sites.

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