After dire predictions that new foreclosures would be on the rise and home prices would plummet following the resolution of delinquent homeowners’ court cases, the National Association of Realtors now reports that foreclosures rates are the lowest they’ve been in 10 years, and the value of houses is appreciating quickly. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the lengthy process by which the government investigated foreclosures actually contributed to the stabilization of the U.S. housing market.

Other benefits to the lull in foreclosures include an increase in the utilization of federal government loan-modification programs, more mortgage refinancing, record low interest rates and fewer defaults on reworked home loans. In addition, institutional investors have been able to buy numerous foreclosed houses in bulk and rent them as opposed to reselling them, thus decreasing the amount of properties that banks seized this year.

Foreclosure is something no one goes through willingly. Unfortunately, in a failing economy, foreclosures seem to be an inevitable consequence for some. Many families in recent years have been forced into foreclosure due to financial challenges because of income loss, unemployment and inflation, with bankruptcy being a popular choice as a solution.

While filing for bankruptcy won’t solve all financial setbacks, it does offer homeowners an opportunity to regroup and formulate financial plans that can keep them from losing their homes to foreclosure. Anyone facing financial difficulties should learn about their legal options before taking action.

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