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Q1 2014 Foreclosures in Rhode Island

Published on June 27, 2014

HousingWorks RI today released its analysis of foreclosures in Rhode Island for Q1 2014. The report looks at the number of foreclosures in each of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns and offers regional comparisons.

Quick Glance Findings:

  • Q1 2014  saw a 19.9 percent increase in the number of residential foreclosure deeds filed in Rhode Island compared to Q1 2013.
  • 451 residential foreclosure deeds were filed in Rhode Island during Q1 2014 compared to 376 in Q1 2013.
  • Providence (without the East Side) and Woonsocket had the highest rate of foreclosures in Rhode Island in Q1 2014, followed by Pawtucket and West Warwick.
  • The first quarter of 2014 saw .57 percent of all loans entering foreclosure, ranking Rhode Island second in New England – and sixth nationwide – in foreclosure starts.

“It is troubling to see the uptick in residential foreclosure deeds filed statewide,” said Jessica Cigna, Research and Policy Director of HousingWorks RI. “We know that many mortgaged homeowners are still struggling with high housing cost burdens, and unfortunately, some programs previously available to help these homeowners are expiring.”

One such program is HAMP, the federally funded Home Affordable Modification Program set up in 2009 to help homeowners modify their mortgage loan terms. The five year term on many of these modifications is set to expire in 2014, meaning many homeowners enrolled in the program will see an increase in their monthly mortgage costs.

A January report released by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program showed that 90 percent of the 4,258 Rhode Island homeowners with active HAMP permanent modifications as of November 30, 2013, are scheduled to have mortgage interest rate and payment increases.

“We are definitely concerned about what this could mean for the 3,826 homeowners who are projected to have their loans modified,” Cigna said. “The median payment increase for Rhode Island homeowners with active HAMP permanent modifications is $192.”

HousingWorks RI’s analysis of the latest Core Logic data shows 18.3 percent of Rhode Island homeowners have negative equity in their home, meaning that they owe more on their mortgages than the value of their home. This continues to rank Rhode Island highest in New England and sixth in the nation for share of ‘underwater’ mortgages.

“We continue to see the lasting effects of these foreclosures on our housing market,” Cigna said. “Policymakers must recognize the importance of housing to our state’s economy and develop strategies that will ensure housing affordability over the long-term. This will reduce our state’s vulnerability to these losses in the future.”

The Quarterly Report on Foreclosures in RI is made possible with a grant from the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office as part of the National Mortgage Settlement, as well as support from Rhode Island Housing.