A national report shows Iowa had 498 home foreclosures in July. The California firm RealtyTrac calls that a "typical monthly rate" for this year, but Mike Thompson with the Iowa Mediation Service says foreclosure numbers remain much higher than in the past.
Thompson praised a new program, under which home mortgage firms will offer a moratorium on house payments to homeowners dealing with flood damage. "We came up with the idea with the Attorney General that if we could get a three month moratorium, it would give us a window to help people work through those problems," Thompson said of the program unveiled Thursday in Cedar Rapids.
The Iowa Mediation Service staffs a mortgage help hotline. Thompson says he’s bracing for several more months of trouble. "What I’ve been told is that over the next year to 18 or 24 months, we’ll be bottoming out," Thompson said of the national foreclosure rates. "I don’t have any evidence that suggests it’s going to faster than that in Iowa." The Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline continues to take 20 to 50 calls a day.