foreclosure

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Members of an organization that helps families in foreclosure is concerned the issue is falling off the national radar.

Barbara Busch of Working in Neighborhoods says the number of foreclosures in Hamilton County has been dropping since 2009.

Cincinnati's vacant foreclosed property registration program is still showing results.  Nearly 1,500 properties are enrolled; requiring lenders to make sure the properties are maintained.

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld helped launch the program about three years ago with unanimous support from Council

“You know major banks and lenders need to be held accountable for their property just like any other ordinary citizen,” Sittenfeld said.  “So we have what has already been a very effective set of tools in the toolbox.  We’re adding some new tools to that.”

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Working in Neighborhoods' (WIN) annual foreclosure report is out and the numbers are slightly better for 2013.

Completed Sheriff's Sales in Hamilton County dropped 17.5 percent from 2012 and new foreclosure filings fell 24 percent. That's the lowest new filings have been since the housing crisis began.

{Read the full report here.}

Cincinnati Council is likely to approve an ordinance Wednesday expanding a program that requires banks to register their foreclosed properties with the city.  It has been operating as a pilot effort in five city neighborhoods.  

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld, who proposed the registry a couple of years ago, said it is showing good results.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Certified homeownership counselors will spend Wednesday answering phones and doling out help. Several agencies are coming together for a foreclosure prevention phone-a-thon.

Debbie Somerville is with Save the Dream Ohio, one of the agencies staffing the phone bank.

"Ohio is back up as one of the top five (states) in foreclosures in the nation," she says. "To put that in context, that's about one in 500 homes."