While the worst of the Great Recession has passed over most of the U.S., many communities and even entire states continue to be affected by high unemployment rates, home and vehicle repossession and other difficulties. California, Florida and Nevada, for instance, are particularly suffering from high foreclosure rates. The good news is that Oregon is doing much better in comparison, although many Oregon residents may still need additional help with ongoing financial problems by filing for bankruptcy or speaking with credit counselors.

One pervasive problem that typically surrounds home foreclosure is property vacancy. In areas where home values are low, many residents facing asset forfeiture choose to leave their homes behind rather than continue to struggle with overdue mortgage payments. Unsurprisingly, untended vacant properties tend to degrade over time and bring down the value of nearby homes.

Home prices in many Oregon communities are relatively high compared to those in other states, and the foreclosure rate has recently fallen by 20 percent. Out of these foreclosed Oregon properties, homeowners with higher home values may have more of an incentive to remain in their homes and explore options that can help them to avoid foreclosure, rather than give up their property. Not only is this beneficial for the neighborhood, but it will most likely spare families the heartache of abandoning their homes.

Source: USA Today, “Cities with the most abandoned homes,” Thomas C. Frohlich and Alexander Kent, July 13, 2014