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Data: Alabama foreclosures not as severe as other states

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — The rate of home foreclosures in July was not as severe in Alabama as elsewhere in the nation, according to a new survey, with fewer risky loans, a good economy and stable home prices credited by the industry with keeping the numbers down.

California-based RealtyTrac reported that Alabama ranked 38th in mortgage defaults in July, while Georgia had the second-highest rate behind Nevada. Among other Southern states, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee all had worse rates than Alabama, as measured by the number of households for each filing.

According to the survey, there was one foreclosure filing for every 4,173 households across the state. The U.S. rate was one filing for every 693 households.

Alabama has been somewhat shielded by its good economy and stable housing prices, said Mickey Green, president of Coldwell Banker Green & Co., a Hoover real estate firm.

“Alabama is not losing jobs like many other states and our housing prices didn’t fluctuate drastically like so many other areas,” Green said. “Foreclosures are up so much in other states because when their mortgages readjusted upwards, their homes didn’t appraise for what they paid for them.”

RealtyTrac reported that 499 homes in Alabama entered some stage of the foreclosure process last month. That is 62.5 percent higher than the figure for July 2006, but it’s 21.5 percent lower than the month before, RealtyTrac said.

Birmingham bankruptcy lawyer Brad Botes said he continues to see an increase in clients facing possible foreclosure.

“Unfortunately, there is little we can do for clients facing foreclosure under the current bankruptcy law,” Botes said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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