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Utah cities make list for most foreclosures



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's low foreclosure rate isn't so low anymore. A new report puts some Utah cities on a list for having some of the highest foreclosure rates in the country.

The RealtyTrac Midyear 2009 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Reportsays the Provo-Orem area, Salt Lake City, and the Ogden-Clearfield area are listed in the top 60 metro areas for foreclosure filings.

Provo-Orem was 31st with a rate of one filing for every 45 households. Salt Lake City ranked 58th with one in 74 homes in foreclosure, and Ogden-Clearfield ranked 59th at one in 74. That's compared to the national average of 1 in 84.

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It may seem like a lot, but there are actually a lot more short sales. One in six homes in the Salt Lake Valley fall into this category according to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Homeowners can consider short sales when they owe more than a home is worth.

"I negotiate with the bank to have the bank take less than what's owed on the property," says Realtor and short-sale Specialist Carrie Moore. She says it can take anywhere from 3 months to a year. "We have to send in the listing," says Moore, "all their financial information, a purchase contract."

Short sales can be good for homeowners who can't make their mortgage payments.

"It's a very good option in order to get rid of your property without it going to foreclosure," says Moore.

For sellers who are willing to wait, it can mean saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, but both buyers and sellers have to be careful.

"No one can promise you anything. It's not a guarantee," says Moore. "The bank has to approve what it is. So if someone can say I can promise you I can sell your house, or I will make the bank negotiate with us, that's not possible."

Moore says it's hard these days to find a listing that's not a short sale or a foreclosure. She says there are good deals, and they could get even better at the end of the year, when fewer homes typically sell and banks are ready to get losses of their books.

E-mail: corton@ksl.com

Courtney Orton

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