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Foreclosure Report: Ohio’s Biggest Cities Suffer Greatest Losses

May 10, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio is one of the states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, according to a new report that finds one out of every 10 homes in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus will have received a foreclosure filing since the start of the housing crisis.

Those losses in Ohio's three biggest cities are the greatest in the foreclosure epidemic, which has translated not only into lost equity for families and homelessness, but also a loss of close to $30 million in property tax revenue. The report was released Monday by National People's Action.

The conclusions are no surprise to Sybil West, community leader with the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, who says she's seen the blight caused by foreclosures in her own community.

"I don't think anyone wants to live in a neighborhood where it's riddled with crime. Some areas on my side of town actually look like war zones, like somebody just bombed them out. It's unimaginable."

The study found that the country's largest banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and U.S. Bank are the financial institutions with the majority of foreclosure filings in the three-city study area: approximately 57 percent, prior to government intervention.

Jordan Estevao, Bank Accountability Campaign Director for National People's Action, says banks need to start doing their part to become part of the solution, instead of prolonging the economic hurt felt by Ohio and other parts of the country.

"The big banks, Wall street, crashed our economy and it is working people, it's homeowners, and it's local state governments that are picking up the tabs, while these banks are still doing actually better than ever."

Estevao says banks can provide relief by modifying loan principals systematically, increasing small business lending, and stopping the financing of predatory lending industries.

In Ohio, more than 280,000 homes are expected to go into foreclosure by the end of next year.

The report is at tinyurl.com/5t6y32c


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH