The Federal Housing Finance Authority is currently accepting suggestions from investors about how best to begin renting about 250,000 foreclosed homes currently owned by government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to a report from the Associated Press. The hope is that by doing so, it would help to raise the slumping property values in areas that have been particularly affected by the foreclosure crisis.
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Typically, foreclosed homes sell for about 20 percent less than comparable homes in their area, the report said. This means that areas with many seized properties will see the prices of those held by homeowners who have kept on their payments also tumble. As a result, some may see values fall so steeply that they’re considered to be “underwater,” or worth less than what is owed on the mortgage.
And while millions of homes remain in foreclosure nationwide, tracking firm RealtyTrac found that the number of filings made in the July slipped 35 percent from June’s totals, according to Bloomberg News. The 212,764 properties in some stage of the foreclosure process during the month was the lowest total in 44 months.
[Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Underwater Mortgages]