Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Foreclosure Process in North Carolina

How the foreclosure process works in N.C.

By Christine Rexrode

Posted: Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

If you're afraid that you're about to fall behind on your mortgage, you should contact your bank as soon as possible to try to work out a new payment plan. You should also talk to a HUD-approved counselor, even if the bank has already started foreclosure proceedings against you. You should be able to negotiate with your bank up until the final sale date. See for more information.

A house doesn't go into foreclosure as soon as a borrower misses a payment. It can take months or even years from the time that the borrower first defaults until the house is actually repossessed and the borrower is required to leave.

North Carolina's Administrative Office of the Courts calculates there were nearly 53,000 foreclosures started in the state through the end of September, but not all of those will end in actual foreclosure sales or repossessions. The N.C. Commissioner of Banks' office estimates that about half of the foreclosure starts in North Carolina actually become foreclosure sales.

Here's how the foreclosure process works in North Carolina.


The borrower defaults on his mortgage payment, and the bank starts sending letters threatening foreclosure action. Typically, the bank waits about 90 days before referring the case to the trustee. The trustee is a person, usually a lawyer, who is supposed to be an impartial party who makes sure that everyone in the foreclosure process is notified correctly.


The trustee notifies the borrower that he is going to file foreclosure papers, then files at the county courthouse and gives the homeowner notice that there will be a hearing at the Clerk of Court's office.


At the hearing, the trustee must prove that there is a debt, that the borrower is in default, that the mortgage agreement gives the bank the right to foreclose, and that the homeowner has been properly notified. The borrower can appeal if he can show that the trustee can't prove one of these facts.

(If the homeowner has some other line of defense - for example, he might say that the bank hired debt collectors who harassed him - then he has to file a separate lawsuit and get an injunction to stop the foreclosure filing from moving forward in the Clerk of Court's office.)

North Carolina law also requires the bank to show that it has tried to resolve the delinquent loan without resorting to foreclosure; usually, this means it has to show that it tried to work out a mortgage modification with the borrower. The clerk can grant an extension of up to 60 days if she believes that a mortgage modification could probably be worked out.


If the clerk allows the foreclosure to move forward, then the trustee posts a notice of sale at the courthouse and publishes another notice in the newspaper, usually the Mecklenburg Times. The trustee must also notify the homeowner.


The foreclosure sale is conducted by the trustee at the courthouse. In Mecklenburg, the sales happen in a designated area on the first floor. Anybody can bid at the sale. The bank usually bids the amount it is owed, although sometimes it will bid less to try to stir up interest in the property.


The trustee files a report of sale at the courthouse. There is a 10-day "upset bid period" where anyone can place a higher bid, as long as it is at least 5 percent more than the previous bid. The borrower can also file at any time for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, which will temporarily stop foreclosure proceedings.


If no upset bids are placed, the trustee files the final sale report and the delinquent borrower must leave the house. If the bank is the new owner, the property is called bank-owned or real-estate-owned. Most people who buy foreclosure properties buy them from the bank, rather than at the courthouse sale.

Sources: Mecklenburg County Clerk of Court’s office, N.C. Commissioner of the Banks’ office, Charlotte attorney G. Martin Hunter, Charlotte attorney Peter J. Underhill

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home sales in selected areas of New Bern

Neuse Harbour

Active homes for sale by price range

Current number of homes on the market=12

Pending sales=0

Active homes for sale by price range





There were 6 homes that sold and closed in Neuse Harbour in the last 6 months. The most expensive was $250,000

Stately Pines

Current homes on the market=6

Pending sales=1

Active homes for sale by price range




There were 7 homes that sold and closed in Stately Pines in the last 6 months. The most expensive house sold was $262,500.

Carolina Pines

Current homes on the market=22

Pending sales=1

Active homes for sale by price range




There were 17 homes that sold and closed in Carolina Pines in the last 6 months. The highest priced home sold was $249,000.

Tucker Creek

Current homes on the market=6

Pending sales=2

Active homes for sale by price range



There were 9 homes that sold and closed in Tucker Creek in the last 6 months. The highest priced home sold was $270,000.

Feel free to call or email me if you would like to have a customized absorption rate or a Comparable Market Analysis for your property.

Currently mortgage interest rates are low which is great news for buyers. 30 year mortgages are being quoted at 4.21% and 15 year mortgages are 3.64%.

1002 homes were sold in our entire MLS system from Jan.1 2010 thru Oct.23, 2010. Of these 226 were new construction.

982 homes were sold in our entire MLS system from Jan.1 2009 thru Sept.15, 2009. Of these 268 were new construction.

Craven County News

As an elected official I serve at the pleasure of the public. If I can be of service to you on any local government issue please don’t hesitate to email me. And if you have an issue that pertains to the state government and are having trouble get a response from the state I am always willing to try to help.

Any suggestions to make this article better would be welcomed. I can be reached at And remember you can always visit me online at www.NewBern-NC.Info

Realtor Steve Tyson

The Tyson Group Realtors

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Wrong again

Nation's Building News

The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB

FONT SIZE: A A AHousing Forum

Once Again, the Housing Naysayers Have Got It Wrong

By Jason Forrest

The naysayers and pessimists are out in full force with their doomsday proclamations that homes are no longer a solid investment.

The New York Times printed this headline in August: "Housing Fades as a Means to Build Wealth, Analysts Say." And the September issue of Time magazine has the cover story, “Rethinking Homeownership: Why Owning a Home May No Longer Make Economic Sense.”

People have been reading these articles and thinking that they shouldn’t buy a home, but historically, booms always follow busts and demand eventually catches up with supply. Add the basic human need for shelter and the United States is in position for the inevitable — another housing boom.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen dismal predictions from credible sources such as The New York Times and Time magazine. Here are a few others:

■“The prices of houses seem to have reached a plateau, and there is reasonable expectancy that prices will decline.” — Time

■“If you are looking to buy, be careful. Rising home values are not a sure thing anymore.” — The Miami Herald

■“Most economists agree a home will become little more than a roof and a tax deduction, certainly not the lucrative investment it was.” — Money

■“We’re starting to go back to the time when you bought a home not for its potential money-making abilities, but rather as a nesting spot.” — Los Angeles Times

■“Financial planners agree that houses will continue to be a poor investment.” — Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine

But wait, I forgot to mention the dates. Each of the above quotes was printed between 1947 and 1993. And following each, the markets recovered and eventually boomed. That means they were all wrong. Demand caught up with supply and the economy improved.

Those last two quotes came from 1993, a low point for real estate values in Los Angeles. Median prices in L.A. reached $222,200 at their peak in 1990, and dropped to $178,300 in 1998. Selling during the bust would have cost home owners more than 20%. I’d be willing to bet that more than a few people heeded the advice not to buy a home in the L.A. area and then missed out on one of the biggest housing booms in history. As usual though, prices rose in the long term, with median values reaching $533,200 in 2005. In 2010, median prices in L.A. are at $345,000, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting's August 2010 report, which still represents a gain of more than 55% from 1990.

Los Angeles is not alone. The median home price in Austin, Texas, reached $109,000 in 1988. Two years later, median prices had fallen 28.5%, to $81,200. Median home prices in Austin today have reached $202,800, according to Burns, more than an 86% increase since 1988. Similar trends have occurred in San Francisco, Phoenix, Denver, Honolulu and other markets.

(In his article, “Housing Is Good as Gold,” Paul Cardis, founder and CEO of AVID Ratings, includes a graph highlighting national boom and bust cycles in the last 49 years.)

Warren Buffett says, “Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.” That means that the time to buy is when the masses are freaked out and prices are low.

History repeats itself. Land has been king for thousands of years — starting with Solomon and going all the way through Warren Buffett, who has recently taken on top economists himself by ruling out a double-dip recession.

My dad taught me that if you want to be the best at something, you should copy what the best do. So if you want to be wealthy and successful, you copy the top 10%. As one of the world’s richest people, Warren Buffett’s strategy seems to be working out all right for him.

Investors are buying land while it’s cheap to eventually make a profit on the re-sale, and they now make up 60% of the buyers, said Jeff Frieden, CEO of REDC, in July’s Investor’s Business Daily.

In the recent New York Times article cited above, Stan Humphries, chief economist for the real estate site Zillow, said “housing values will only keep up with inflation. A home will return the money an owner puts in each month, but will not multiply the investment.” He’s wrong — demand will catch up with the surplus housing inventory and then outweigh the supply.

We have yet to figure out a way to produce more land, but people still need places to live. Plus, the population is growing. More than 4.3 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2007, and they will be looking for homes sometime in the late 2020s. The Census also estimates an average 888,000 immigrants entering the country annually and projects a U.S. population of 392 million by 2050, more than a 50% increase in size from 1990.

Housing opportunities will also continue to arise from people entering new stages of their lives. The Census counted more than 54.5 million Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 in 2008. Approaching retirement, many of these folks will downsize or move to active adult communities like The Villages in Florida, the largest, most successful retirement community in the nation.

Growing families will want more space; newlyweds (there were almost 2.2 million of them in 2008) will need homes and workers will be moving in response to new jobs, job relocations or raises. Add those entering the workforce from high school and college, and demand is bottling up, positioning the U.S. for another housing boom.

Beyond the historical elements and the logic of supply versus demand, people are driven to buy homes for emotional reasons. Psychologists say that buying a home is the third most emotional thing people go through, following birth and marriage. Shelter is a basic human need; in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it is right up there with food, air and sleep. But buying a home is also an important step in improving your life. It can mean a better school district or a less stressful marriage and it’s at the core of the American dream. Homes are a sound financial investment, but if that alone doesn’t motivate people to buy, their emotions will.

People are bound to panic during busts, giving in to their fears and market anxiety. Even so, as always, housing remains a solid investment. Demand will catch up with the supply; historically, booms always follow busts; and people are emotional beings who will do whatever it takes to provide for their families.

Jason Forrest is a new home sales trainer and author of “Creating Urgency in a Non-Urgent Housing Market” and “40 Day Sales Dare.” Contact information is on his website: