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Foreclosures Almost Double

By Greg L | 30 May 2007 | Local Economy | 14 Comments

The spring residential market hasn’t recovered at all, inventory is rising, and not only is Prince William still the leader in active residential foreclosures, but the gap is widening between Prince William and other areas in Northern Virginia. What makes this even more painful is that if you look at the number of active foreclosures and compare it to the number of residential units in the locality, the picture gets even worse. Local municipalities better start considering what impact this is going to have on their fiscal 2008 budgets, particularly if spending plans are contingent on this problem starting to level off, or improve.

Courtesy of NovaBubbleFallout, here are the statistics for Northern Virginia:

Active Foreclosures

County Foreclosures
Arlington 8 11
Fairfax 183 260
Loudoun 116 171
Prince William* 255 418
Frederick 24 38
Fauquier 11 20
Culpeper 18 24
Stafford 51 79

* includes Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William County

A recovery in the residential housing market isn’t going to happen in this area until the fallout from risky sub-prime mortgages starts to subside. Instead, it’s still building.

One of the first impacts is going to be a reduction in the amount of bonds issued in localities in order to protect credit ratings. Sound financial management practices (for example in Prince William County) have been to reduce the number of bonds issued in order to keep the ratio between debt and revenues at a level that supports a favorable bond rating. Next there will likely be efforts to identify ways to reduce spending in the current budget cycles in order to lower the impact of a further erosion of residential assessments in the next fiscal year. Saving money now will make it easier to get through next year’s budget process. If not enough savings can be identified, start looking forward to discussions about tax and fee hikes.

My expectation is that Manassas Park, which has 20% higher tax rates than surrounding jurisdictions, is going to be the first out of the gate with talk about a tax hike or fee increases.

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  1. anonymous said on 30 May 2007 at 12:41 pm:
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    You are correct, and that is exactly what Prince William county has been doing and must continue to do: cut spending and adjust the rate upward slightly. The result was a slight reduction in average tax bills while preserving and enhancing core services. Preservation of our bond rating at AAA is critical. Only a handful of localities nation wide have a AAA rating, and it saves us millions in debt service every year. To do that, debt service cannot exceed 10 percent of the budget. We are at that threshold now, and for that reason, some school, park and road construction projects have had to be delayed; most projects, however, are on schedule.

  2. anonymous said on 30 May 2007 at 1:05 pm:
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    That NovaBubble Blog has a entry “watch for upside-down landlords”. That actually happened in my neighborhood, Belmont Station. I saw an eviction notice on the door. City records show that the house was purchased by someone who lives in Arlington or Alexandria for $350K last summer.

    Two weeks later, there is a no-trespassing notice in the window along with instructions to call Linda Vane at REO Real Estate if you are interested in purchasing the house. I do believe that is a foreclosure.

    Oh, the house next door to that one had the owner literally walk away from it in January. It is now empty with a “WINTERIZED” sign in the window (if you see that, you know the bank is taking care of property). That was also purchased last summer for about $350K.

    Guess they’re gonna have to call this place Belmont ForeclosureStation.

  3. anonymous said on 30 May 2007 at 1:17 pm:
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    Looking on HomesDatabase.com, Belmont Station homes have just dropped under the $300K mark. There’s one listed for $289K.

    And Manassas Park thinks mine is worth $330K. What crack are they smoking. (Actually one could ask that question about any of numerous things Manassas Park has done in recent history…)

    Hey, how is Jeanette Rishell’s mortgage business doing? Wonder how many of these now-failing loans she personally made? She better hope that amnesty passes, so there will be plenty more rubes willing to get a $377K mortgage on a house worth $250K at most.

  4. park'd said on 30 May 2007 at 4:41 pm:
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    My MP assessment came back a good 40k over what i could sell it for (if at all) in this market yet since nothing has sold in my area for almost 5 months now, I have no comps to push back in their face to tell them it’s not worth their assessed value. Not a single house in my townhome development has sold since January. No more tax increases in the park. I simply won’t pay it and they will see me in court. I flat out refuse to pay for any more illegals and I will go to 1 Park Center and tell the treasurer/tax person right to his/her face. A good news story on how an irate home owner refuses to pay any more tax in an illegal alien sanctuary city until things change might be what they need to shine some light on this little rat town. Amnesty is coming people. Brace for it and all the financial burdens that it entails.

  5. anonymous said on 30 May 2007 at 5:49 pm:
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    But, but, but, how do you expect them to pay for their $33Million elementary school that is only double what other elementary schools cost?

    Oh, one thing I was wondering about, and this is something you might be able to check on, Greg–in PW County, based on what I have read in the local MJ, the planning commission has to approve new schools.

    This new school in MP never went before the planning commission, as far as I’m aware. Is there any legal requirement that it should?

  6. Sals said on 30 May 2007 at 5:59 pm:
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    If I remember correctly, there was an article in the Washington Post a few months ago that said that Hispanics were on the leading edge of a wave of foreclosures. On Saturday I was listening to a Spanish radio station (1460am) and was surprised to hear a commercial where a realtor (Rosa Vilchez) claimed that Latinos had very few foreclosures because they fulfill their obligations. I find that difficult to believe.

  7. anonymous said on 30 May 2007 at 6:36 pm:
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    Yep. There’s the well-known story about a couple of strawberry pickers in California making some $15K a year who somehow managed to get a $710K home loan.

    That’s only 47.3 times their annual income. Apparently their loan officer was making the difference between what they told the strawberry pickers what their mortgage would be and what it actually was for a few months.

    I expect when this all shakes out the fraud involved in this housing “boom” will become obvious.

  8. Anonymous said on 1 Jun 2007 at 1:38 am:
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    I do real estate closings - been doing this for over 25 years. Over 3 years ago I worked for a company for a short time and it had a Latino division. I saw first hand the fraud going on. I predicted this foreclosure boom over 2 years ago. Rosa Vilchez was the first big Latino agent in the area. Jose and Maria both work at McDonalds flipping burgers and they qualified to buy a $500,000 house? Well, they got the loan. Juan, who wants the house, cannot qualify - so he gets Jose, who has decent credit, to buy the house. Jose puts Juan on the deed after the closing and Jose disappears leaving Juan to make the payments, and Juan can’t because he could not qualify to begin with. Mortgage brokers go to employers and ask them to falsify salary so the client can get the loan. There have even been loan officers who have falsified documents so there clients can get the loans. I could tell lots of stories. The main title company Rosa used (and may have had a financial interest in) got shut down because of misdealings. Quite a number of title companies dealing with Latino closings got their licenses pulled because of misconduct. Lots of money was made by a lot of unscrupulous people. The new construction (mini-motels) in Manassas Park - some are in foreclosure because each room had a kitchen built in it and they could not get an occupancy permit, so the owners disappeared. Manassas is now called Manaxico and there is White Flight occurring. If this continues, the city will become like Tiajuana - and it has already started.

  9. Anonymous said on 1 Jun 2007 at 8:20 am:
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    Looks like Faisal Gill’s legal practice of protecting illegal aliens or those about to be deported is effecting property values in Prince William county. People can’t even sell their homes for a decent price because of the unholy alliance between illegal aliens, corrupt employers and disgraceful mortgage brokers.

  10. anonymous said on 1 Jun 2007 at 10:40 am:
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    Kind of sick how Latinos are entirely willing to take advantage of “their peoples” to make a fast buck.

    How do some of these people sleep at night?

    Are they perhaps sociopaths, without a conscience to bother them?

  11. Anonymous said on 1 Jun 2007 at 5:24 pm:
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    Sociopaths ??? No conscience ??? Hmmm, look at the crime statistics now, too. Walk over to the courthouse and sit in a courtroom in General District Court for a few hours. The courtrooms are packed. Interpreters are at a premium and very busy because all of a sudden the Defendants speak NO English. See how many get punished for their crime. See how many repeat offenders are there. Court documents are in Spanish. Why are we catering to this? Commit a crime in a South American country and see what happens :(

  12. AWCheney said on 1 Jun 2007 at 11:02 pm:
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    Sounds like a good Help Save Manassas fieldtrip to me, Anonymous. I know they won’t allow cameras in the courtroom, but how about out in the hall where they’re waiting? Of course, there are camera phones…:-D

  13. anonymous said on 2 Jun 2007 at 4:05 am:
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    Well, you know, they’d like to bring their culture here, and do, so why don’t we oblige them in that, and punish them the way they’d get punished back home? Mexican jails are part of their culture too, you know…

  14. anonymous said on 4 Jun 2007 at 12:36 pm:
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    “My expectation is that Manassas Park, which has 20% higher tax rates than surrounding jurisdictions, is going to be the first out of the gate with talk about a tax hike or fee increases.”

    They may have another option. They can decrease the frequency of assessments from annually to every other year, or even every 4 years.

    Then those high 2007 assessments will stick around for long enough to buy them some time while they figure out what to do.

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