Metropolitan Atlanta is experiencing a foreclosure boom as the number of failed mortgages more than doubled in less than five years, between 2000 and 2005. These foreclosures impose significant costs not only on borrowers and lenders, but also on municipal governments, neighboring homeowners and others with a financial interest in nearby properties. As a result, foreclosure avoidance strategies must involve not only federal, state and local public agencies, but also responsible mortgage industry officials, consumer groups, and community-based, not-for profit organizations. This report was commissioned by Doug Dylla at NeighborWorks America to help build awareness of foreclosure problems and craft a comprehensive foreclosure-avoidance strategy for metropolitan Atlanta. The work presented here serves as a companion to the Foreclosure Prevention Forum cosponsored by NeighborWorks America and the Atlanta Federal Reserve on May 23, 2005. The forum brought together more than 150 leaders from the mortgage industry, state and local government, the advocacy community, and academic and policy researchers. These participants generated a variety of collaborative approaches to address issues related to mortgage failures and foreclosures in the Atlanta region.
The report was written and researched by Mark Duda and William Apgar. It expands on research presented by Duda at the forum and is intended to characterize the current situation with respect to mortgage failures in metropolitan Atlanta, as well as previous research completed by the authors on foreclosure avoidance in Chicago and Los Angeles. The foreclosure data used in this report were generously provided by EquiSystems, LLC, producer of the Atlanta Foreclosure Report.