up in Minneapolis,
As predatory lending schemes of the ’90s take their toll
on homeowners, foreclosure rates are rising all over the country.
Minneapolis has been hit particulary hard by foreclosures, with
numbers doubling from 320 in the first quarter of last year to 678
in the first quarter this year.
The City of Minneapolis has created a website where residents
can get information for Minneapolis homeowners facing possible foreclosures.
It also includes links to mortgage information for first-time homebuyers
and homeowners interested in refinancing so they can avoid loans
that could put them on the path to foreclosure. In addition, the
site links visitors to organizations that promote homeownership.
“Foreclosures have a significant impact on neighborhoods,”
Council Member Gary Schiff said. “Irresponsible mortgage companies
are weakening communities, creating vacant and blighted homes. Foreclosures
give mortgage lenders, such as banks, the right to repossess properties
when borrowers are unable to pay off their loans. In addition to
leaving residents without their home investments, these foreclosures
also undermine communities. A foreclosed home can remain empty for
months or even years, becoming a target for arson and other vandalism.”