It’s official, Bank of America, the largest mortgage lender in the United States, has suspended all foreclosure activity while they review their procedures. While Bank of America doesn’t have an office in Sevier County they have over the years underwritten a large number of loans through mortgage brokers, another pracice they are ending. I fully expect the other major lenders to follow suit and I suspect that they are under pressure from Washington to do so. Probably a good idea as we have seen some very unpleasant errors made by several banking institutions. These have included giving us instructions to evict a party BEFORE the foreclosure was complete, filing an action on the wrong property, and more.
The simple fact is that the entire system is overwhelmed. No bank initially had sufficient resources dedicated to the residential real estate foreclosure morass and I don’t know that they do even now. The sad fact is that until all of these delinquent properties are sold to individuals who CAN make the loan payment our national market will continue to languish. The good news is that there are lots of buyers out there and the aggressively priced properties ARE selling. When the bank gets the price right on our Gatlinburg area foreclosures, they sell rapidly but when they don’t, they don’t sell at all. For a free and current list of all area foreclosures (listed by any member firm of our Great Smoky Mountain Association of Realtors), please click here.