Foreclosures climbing in Plymouth County

Maria Papadopoulos

The number of foreclosures nearly tripled in Plymouth County in the first eight months of 2007 compared to the same period last year.

A report released Wednesday by Plymouth County Register of Deeds John Buckley showed the total number of foreclosures recorded there through August was 587, a whopping 181 percent jump from the 209 foreclosures recorded through August 2006.

Last month, 136 foreclosures were recorded in Plymouth County, up from 101 in July.

Foreclosures are on the rise as higher interest rates and falling property values are squeezing many homeowners.

Sherry Palmer of Four Points Realty in West Bridgewater said Wednesday climbing foreclosures are the result of "loans written that should not have been written."

"Everybody wanted to be in a home, that was the deal a year ago, and they didn't care how they got there," Palmer said.

And, once buyers get behind in payments, the foreclosure process kicks in.

For example, many local home buyers signed adjustable rate mortgages with low payments the first year, she said.

But "unfortunately, a year later, when that adjustable rate mortgage goes up, they realize they can't afford the payments," Palmer said.

The amount of money borrowed for real estate purchases in Plymouth County has also increased. The average mortgage rose 6 percent in the first eight months of 2007 compared to the same period last year, from $205,334 to $218,100, the report found.

Maria Papadopoulos of The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) can be reached at mpapadopoulos@enterprisenews.com.