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Property Listing Company Expects Foreclosures to Double in 2010

Foreclosure experts at ""Heavy Hammer Inc."":http://www.heavyhammer.com and its foreclosure listing site ""USHUD.com"":http://www.ushud.com see a confluence of factors exacerbating an already devastated housing[IMAGE]market in 2010, driven primarily by financial industry practices and changing government policies. They predict that the consequence will be a doubling of foreclosure rates this year.

USHUD.com CEO Michael Urbanski says the first and most obvious factor is the unemployment rate, which continues to languish in the 10 percent range nationally, and often much higher regionally. He explained that similar unemployment rates have historically affected 20 to 30 percent of homeowners' ability to make their scheduled mortgage payments.

The second factor, according to Urbanski, is the significant constriction of lending due to tightening mortgage requirements.


""The mortgage pendulum is now swinging too far to the opposite spectrum of what we saw at the height of the real estate market,"" he said. ""Lending institutions are creating hurdles so high that it will put qualified homebuyers back six to 12 months in the buying cycle.""

Urbanski also notes that struggling homeowners who seek loan modifications are increasingly experiencing difficulties qualifying for programs that could stave off foreclosure.

""The current qualifications are so absurd they require the homeowner to prove that they do not need a modification in order to get one,"" said Urbanski, calling the results of the administration's Making Home Affordable program ""underwhelming.""

Citing a ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org (NAR) study that finds the average U.S. home depreciated 12 percent from 2008 to 2009, Urbanski says selling will become an impossible proposition for a growing number of underwater homeowners.

""Watch the horizon,"" said Urbanski. ""Left unchecked, the perfect storm may be only one more bad policy away.""

Heavy Hammer, based in Annapolis, Maryland, is an online networking and consulting company geared toward connecting real estate professionals with potential clients. Heavy Hammer also drives a suite of foreclosure Web sites. Starting with USHUD.com in 1999, this group of sites now includes more than 30 state- and region- specific foreclosure listing sites that the company says connect more than half a million homebuyers each month with thousands of real estate professionals across the country.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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