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February 21, 2010

Free foreclosure workshop in Walnut Creek Saturday


All those little red houses, like pieces on a Monopoly board, signify homes in foreclosure in Walnut Creek, according to Zillow.com. The concentration of red on this map may still not be as bad as you would find in a Zillow map of a more notoriously hard-hit East Contra Costa County town such as Antioch. But, still it is disconcerting to see this happening in Walnut Creek neighborhoods--and sad for the people facing foreclosure.

According to a Dataquick, a San Diego-based real estate information service, foreclosures may be slowly spreading into more expensive neighborhoods, although there are signs that the worst may be over in hard-hit entry-level markets, like those in East Contra Costa. Contra Costa County saw Notices of Default (the first step in the foreclosure process) rise 11 percent between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the fourth quarter of 2009.

If you're at risk of foreclosure, you're invited to attend a free foreclosure prevention workshop this Saturday morning in Walnut Creek. The clinic, which takes place 9 a.m. to noon (with registration staring at 8:30 a.m.) takes place at the Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Drive. It is sponsored by the Contra Costa County Community Development Block Grant Consortium, which comprises the cities of Walnut Creek, Richmond, Antioch and Contra Costa County, and the Home Equity Preservation Alliance, which inlcudes Bay Area Legal Aid, Community Housing Development Corporation, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, Housing Rights, Inc., and Pacific Community Services.

Workshop topics include one-on-one assessments, free consultation with lawyers, information on the foreclosure process and timeline, how to avoid foreclosure, options and challenges. Bring proof of income, loan documents, and any other related correspondence or documents that need review. For more information, Walnut Creek residents should call (925) 943-5899, ext. 2208; residents from other areas of Contra Costa County should call (925) 335-7220.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are these actually homes in foreclosure, or simply homes for SALE, in Walnut Creek?

When I click on the link in your post, the Zillow page I'm taken to doesn't seem to indicate they're foreclosures, and the list prices don't like low, so I'm wondering about the accuracy of your post and the graphic embedded in it.

thanks.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Hello,
Thanks for checking in.

When I go to that link, I come to the map on the Zillow page, which I copied to use as a graphic. And that map has all those red house icons. When I click on any of those red house icons, I'm taken to a description of the house, which indicates it is in foreclosure or pre-foreclosure, the first step in the foreclosure process.

Anonymous said...

SM is right. Zillow is showing 93 homes as foreclosures, 221 as regular "for sale". They own foreclosures.com so their numbers are usually pretty accurate. However, they do not pick up the pre-foreclosures in default until an auction date is set.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Thanks 6:17 a.m. for clearing that up, and explaining the Zillow relationship to foreclosures.com.

I don't know how entirely accurate Zillow is. It describes my house as a two-bedroom, when it's a three....

Anonymous said...

The foreclosure situation has some thinking that these home owners lost jobs and can't make the payment or their rate adjusted and they can no longer afford the home. The first is a product of the economy. The second is the result of someone making a bad decision. A third situation is not always known. That is, people fully employed and able to afford the home stop paying the mortgage because the home value is less than what they owe. This situation is almost criminal.

Anonymous said...

Use the check boxes to the left of the map to check for foreclosures, FSBO, FSBA etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks to all for the clarifications above re: Zillow site display.

Sigh, I can't help but be depressed over my status as a condo owner in the WC/PH area. I should've stayed on the other side of the Bridge and secretly erected a yurt in San Francisco's Presidio when I had a chance! (Kidding; I just like the word "yurt". Still, all that open space, "location location, location" ... Hmmm....)

(poster from 2/21 8:09 p.m.)

Anonymous said...

It's sad to look at that map and think of those families'lives disrupted. Makes you wonder what it would feel like to live in one og those homes.

Anonymous said...

to anon 4:03
We came close to losing our house before I found a job this month. The feeling is unimaginable if you haven't been there. Thinking that last Christmas would be our last in this home. Looking at the tree my child planted when he was little, the room I'd decorated so perfectly.

Think about signing up for "programs" just to get by...you know the ones that people laugh about and verbally spit on as being for lazy cheats. Telling your child that he's going to have to leave the only home he's ever had. Being afraid that his teachers are going to find out that we're "on assistance" and count that against him. Turning off the telephone ringer so that he doesn't get frightened by the collections calls.

It's like living in a surreal nightmare. In the midst of the horror I've held on to the small kindnesses: the checkout guy at the grocery store who slipped the carton of orange juice into my bag after I asked him to remove it from my total, the neighbor who just happened to have bought too much at Costco and wondered if I would mind taking some of it off her hands, the list goes on. You cling to those moments.

Things worked out for me, although we'll be years recovering. Retirement savings are gone, college fund is gone, a once perfect credit rating is shot, debt out the wazoo.

So that's a taste of what it feels like to be inside of one of those homes (we never got that far but it got close). If you're wondering, I had once thought that embarrassment would be a large part of how I would feel about this but when things get really bad, you find that you're beyond that kind of petty emotion...although protecting your child from embarrassment was a huge concern.

Anonymous said...

5:04
I can't imagine what you have been through, but glad that things have turned around.

Although I'm not in your situation, I still live frugally, I think there is a link to a frugal shopping site here. Also, since produce costs are high but their nutrition is so important, I plant a garden and don't get in the trap of eating processed foods. We live in a great climate for all year gardening, your children could get into it too. It would dramatically lower your food costs for produce and ensure nutritious meals for the family.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'll be flamed for being "hateful", but...

On the other hand, some people in those homes made a very poor choice getting into the home in the first place...it was way more than they could afford if the interest rates moved upwards and the ARM adjusted -- I saw this happen to a family member and they lost the house.

Also, some people were flipping homes and got caught when it all came crashing down.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are situations where buyers were a little too optimistic or gullible but it still must hurt. The children in these households must feel insecure and even scared. As a society, we shouldn't be scornful of other's feelings and sufferings, even if they bring it on themselves.

Anonymous said...

10:20 pm

Good for you for being honest enough to speak the truth!

You are not hateful and do not feel intiminated by any remarks on this blog that may say so. You see the world through clear glasses which is good.

Yes I have empathy for folks who have lost their homes but lets hope that they have learned the most important lessons these trying times have brought......take responsibility for your own actions (no one made you swallow the poison pill); this world is not all about me; live a simpler life and within your means; teach your children these lessons by how you live your lives.

Anonymous said...

10:20pm
This argument is getting old. Most people with adjustable mortgages actually saw the rate DROP in 2008/9 if they were linked to the LIBOR. And flippers are investors - they buy low, pretty up the house and sell at a profit. If they lose, they lose. But the neighborhood gains an improved property, and a young family gets a chance to buy it at a more affordable price.
The biggest reason behind foreclosures is reduction in income due to job loss or contraction. I have several friends dealing with this who have done everything right their whole lives only to be facing the double shame of unemployment and losing their homes. Some "walk" because their homes are worth a lot less than the mortgage, they get a job offer elsewhere and the bank won't work with them. Their alternative is to walk or give the bank thousands that they don't have in order to move.
Most people are sincerely trying to do their best to get through this. Our financial institutions and lack of regulation let this happen. And still very little is being done. These homes need to be sold at the current market price (foreclosure, short sale) rather than sit on the banks' books at the old price and delay the inevitable.
7:23 - Let's hope you never have to learn "the most important lesson" that even the most sanctimonious people sometimes face situations not of their own making.