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Sarasota News Leader July 26, 2013 OPINION for which foreclosure has been completed, with those houses not listed by the banks as being for sale. One conclusion is that the banks are stockpiling homes so when prices have gone up even further, they can then put the residences on the market and make even more money. As the rebound in the economy continues, more and more homeowners will put their houses on the market — and a greater and greater number of them will be underwater homeowners. The buildup of foreclosures in the courts also does not raise the specter of a new housing bubble with higher and higher prices. Yes, prices are rising, but they are rising only relative to the extremely low prices that resulted from the recession. As the prices of homes approach their properly appraised market levels, the rise will level off. If prices are inflated beyond their proper value, banks can simply not provide the potential buyers with mortgages — a common sense approach that banks did not follow when there was a real bubble building. Page 75 mortgage payments. If the residences are vacant, the foreclosures should be expedited. If the owners are in residence and maintaining the homes, the economy, with its attendant higher real estate prices, should be able to solve the problems of unclogging the courts. When the country has recovered, the foreclosure problem will have, to a great extent, resolved itself. REAPING THE REWARDS Who benefits from the short supply of homes in Sarasota County? For the most part, it is residents of Sarasota who are putting their homes up for sale, regardless of whether the houses are in the process of foreclosure. The homeowners will receive more money and will therefore have more financial wherewithal to pay their bills, including what they owe to banks. The City and County of Sarasota also benefit. The higher the values of the recorded sales, Is the backlog in the courts a good or a bad the higher the property taxes that will be paid. thing? It is a good thing (within reason), as The banks win in this situation, too, because it gives hundreds of thousands of homeownthey have an inventory of homes they have not ers the breathing room necessary to get out of their difficulties without losing everything. yet sold and they will receive more money for This is not an easy task; unfortunately, it takes those residences. Additionally, if homeowners in foreclosure get more money, they will be a great deal of time. able to pay the banks more of what they owe. That being said, there are situations when the foreclosure process should be accelerated. It It should also be noted that the homeowners is true that there were thousands of homes who are in residence and keeping up their abandoned by owners who stopped making properties have been subsidizing the banks.

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