Home foreclosures, evictions on the rise in central Virginia
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As inflation soars, home foreclosures and evictions are also on the rise. Many people are trying to make ends meet through this stressful financial climate.
Volunteers with HOME, which stands for “Housing Opportunities Made Equal,” answered questions regarding home foreclosures in NBC12′s Call 12 Center Wednesday.
HOME of Virginia Senior Housing Specialist for Foreclosure Prevention Sha’ri Williams says with mortgage moratoriums ending, foreclosures are on the rise, putting families in desperate situations.
“At that point, you may be underwater or you may owe more on the house than it really is worth,” Williams said.
The impacts of inflation are on full display. Luckily, Williams says HOME has been able to prevent around 85% of foreclosures. They hope to raise that percentage.
Williams says if you are worried about losing your home, the best thing to do right now is to take immediate action - don’t wait.
“I just ask that you don’t wait until the last minute to look at your statement, make sure that you’re making constant communication with your lenders, and also reach out to us,” Williams said. “We’re a nonprofit organization, and there’s no charge.”
Thanks to the HOME volunteers in the Call 12 Center, folks got their questions answered about mortgages, retaining ownership of property and understanding what to do if you’re about to be foreclosed on.
But it isn’t just homeowners feeling the pressure. Tenants in central Virginia are now facing astronomical rent hikes.
“Our biggest concern right now, talking to our low-income clients is the impact of increasing eviction filings that we are seeing over the past month or two. They are up dramatically,” Marty Wegbreit, director of litigation at Central Virginia Legal Aid Society said.
Wegbreit says they are seeing two and even three times the number of eviction cases coming through their intake lines.
“We have the double whammy of rents going up faster than almost anywhere in the country at the eighth,” he said. “We have a vacancy that is minuscule, second lowest in the entire country, and that’s a recipe for disaster for tenants.”
Rent relief applications stopped on May 15. Meanwhile, Richmond’s vacancy rate for rental housing is at 1.1%.
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