Help Your Clients Deal With Fall Spruce-ups

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One of the annual routines for home maintenance is taking some time in the fall to make sure yards are in good shape. Inevitably, there’ll be some yard waste to dispose of. This is a great time to check in with your clients and prospects and help them follow local best practices.

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First, remind them there’s no substitute for verifying local laws themselves — however long your clients have been in their homes, laws may have changed since their last cleanup. Larger cities and towns may have a general number that residents call for assistance on all matters, including this; in other areas, home owners can start by contacting the local sanitation department. Cities and towns will often take yard waste and convert it to mulch for local parks and other areas. But there may be a limit to how much they’ll take.

If local dumps accept yard waste material, your customers can call them to check on requirements. Home owners with trucks may find this the easiest option. The dump may charge a fee; remind your contacts to check on that.

Home owners whose yard waste may include heavy items might consider renting a chipper. While they can cost as much as $400 per day, they convert most waste items into mulch that owners can use for their yards. If they’re hesitant to use a chipper themselves, they can often hire a crew, who’ll either handle the chipper themselves or simply bring the yard waste to an appropriate disposal spot, whether the dump or a recycling center.

Get more advice on yard waste disposal at Lifehacker.com.

Source: “How to Get Rid of Yard Waste,” Lifehacker.com (Sept. 8, 2015)

Foreclosures Down 68% From Peak

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Foreclosures are falling fast. Since reaching a peak in September 2010, the number of foreclosures has plunged 68 percent – from 117,225 nationwide to 38,000 as of July, according to CoreLogic’s July 2015 National Foreclosure Report, released this week.

In the past year alone, foreclosure inventory has fallen by nearly 28 percent and completed foreclosures have dropped about 24 percent. Completed foreclosures are the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, about 5.8 million completed foreclosures have occurred across the country.

But the number has slowed significantly. As of July, the national foreclosure inventory is about 1.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage – the lowest since December 2007.

The number of mortgages in serious delinquency – 90 days or more past due – is also falling, dropping by 23 percent year-over-year. About 3.4 percent of total mortgages were considered in serious delinquency as of July – also the lowest rate since December 2007.

Read more: 10 Places Where Foreclosures Are Problematic

“Job market gains and home-price appreciation helped to push serious delinquency and foreclosure rates lower,” says Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist.

Five states alone accounted for nearly half of all completed foreclosures nationwide, according to CoreLogic. Those five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in July were: Florida (98,000), Michigan (47,000), Texas (33,000), California (27,000) and Georgia (27,000).

Meanwhile, the five areas with the highest foreclosure inventory (as percentage of all homes with a mortgage) were: New Jersey (4.8 percent), New York (3.7 percent), Florida (2.7 percent), Hawaii (2.5 percent) and the District of Columbia (2.4 percent).

Source: CoreLogic