This spring a north Brainerd couple packed up their two young children, their dog and their belongings and walked away from the first home they ever owned.
They said they tried to work with the bank on a payment regarding their mortgage but were told help wouldn’t be available until they were behind in their payments.
Looking at a leaking roof and an unknown bill for home repairs, they decided to cut their losses and left the city.
Long grass and memories of fire pit conversations in the backyard are all that remain now of that young family.
Foreclosures continue to ravage Crow Wing County. The latest numbers through May, with nearly half the year completed, saw 177 foreclosures to date.
That pace is ahead of previous years.
In 2006, before the economic meltdown of the Great Recession, there were 50 foreclosures between January and May. By 2007, those numbers rose to 89. By 2008, they jumped to 154 foreclosures through May.
In 2009, foreclosures for the first five months dropped to 140. In 2010, the numbers through May were nearly the same at 148.
This year, the foreclosures have already equaled numbers posted in 2009 by the end of June and surpassed the half-year number of foreclosures recorded in 2010.
If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it may be in the notices of pendency, which indicate a foreclosure is in the works. For 2011, there have been 213 notices filed with the Crow Wing County Recorder’s office. The notices represent a decrease from 2010, which in itself was a drop compared to the dismal 2009.
By May of 2010, the county had 236 notices. In 2009, that number for that same five-month period was 286.
It’s too early to say there is a trend since indications in previous years haven’t panned out. But it may be a good start.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.