In 2010, to stem the tide of foreclosures post-housing crisis, Maryland passed legislation requiring banks to seek “alternatives to eviction” before foreclosing on a borrower. And that legal dam held back foreclosures for a couple years. But now banks have broken through and properties “getting default, auction, and repossession notices” are on the rise — big time.
Foreclosures in Baltimore are up 182 percent from last July at the same time that they’ve dropped 32 percent nationwide. And Maryland’s foreclosure rate last month was second only to Florida.
And it’s not like we weren’t one of the hardest-hit cities the first time around. The housing crisis cost Baltimoreans an estimated $1.5 billion from 2008 to 2010, and the city lost millions in property tax revenue.
And in case you thought there was a silver lining, there may not be. The increase in foreclosures won’t necessarily inspire new investment in the city’s real estate, according to Jack BeVier of the real estate company Dominion Group. Apparently, the average age of housing in Baltimore makes it more expensive to renovate buildings here than in, say, Atlanta.
Read more about this at Bloomberg. It’s worth it if only to read two misguided mentions of The Wire.