Coping with Record High Foreclosure

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Foreclosures have hit another record high, according to a recent report.

According to Foreclosures.com, the number of foreclosed homes jumped 44 percent in March.

After better numbers in January, spring brought with it a record-high in foreclosures.

March was the first month that government backed lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac temporarily lifted halts on foreclosures-- which may have led to the increase.

Although people are scaling down, they're also moving in with relatives. Real estate attorney Kirk Levy says extended families are finding a new way to weather this financial storm under one roof.

Click the player to see the report and financial advice from Carolyn Castleberry.

"We see a lot of consolidation or clan consolidation now with grandparents moving in with their kids, younger kids in their 20s moving back home," he explained. "It's not helping the housing market, but it's a way to save money."

California was hit hardest this past month with foreclosure levels at 59 percent. Arizona's numbers also spiked to 45 percent.

Foreclosures also bring out the bargain hunters.

Last month the National Association of Realtors showed a spike in existing home sales fueled by foreclosures. While sales may be up slightly, prices have plunged.

Along with rising foreclosure rates, the number of scams has also risen.

Experts say people should watch for programs requiring up front fees-- it's likely a scam.

There are some alternatives to foreclosure like loan modifications. This is where the lender agrees to reduce the rate a home owner is paying or extend the time to pay it back.

This is something homeowners can do themselves by contacting their lender on the phone and in writing.

*Originally aired April 16, 2009

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Carolyn Castleberry

CBN News Reporter

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