More than 55,000 U.S. properties were tied to foreclosure filings – such as default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions – in October 2019, according to a report issued by ATTOM Data Solutions on Thursday.

More than 55,000 U.S. properties were tied to foreclosure filings – such as default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions – in October 2019, according to a report issued by ATTOM Data Solutions on Thursday.

The figure is up 13 percent from September but down 17 percent from a year ago, according to the report.

“While foreclosure activity across the United States rose in October, in looking at historical trends, October numbers tend to increase as lenders may be pushing filings through the pipeline before the holiday season,” Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, said in a press release. “The latest number is still below where it was a year ago and less than 15 percent of what it was during the depths of the Great Recession.”

Texas was among the states with the greatest number of completed foreclosures (912), trailing only Florida (1,493) in October 2019.

Lenders repossessed 13,484 U.S. properties last month, hitting the highest point for the year thus far, according to the report.

Before The Foreclosure

There are options to avoid foreclosure, including the popular short sale.

“A short sale is when a seller is in financial hardship due to a variety of reasons (loss of employment, divorce, death of the borrower, etc.),” states the “Short Sale Queen” Nicole Espinosa, a Dallas Realtor, on her website. “In this case the seller owes more than the house is worth and can’t afford to sell their home. We get the seller’s lender to take a loss, so the seller does not owe any money in the transaction, avoiding foreclosure.”


North of SH 121 and east of the Dallas North Tollway, the Chapel Creek neighborhood in west Frisco has a rare blend of both established homes first built in the early 2000s and brand new, custom-built homes on remaining lots available. Many of the 13 homes now listed for sale in Chapel Creek are from the 2000s, which reflect the very traditional, European-inspired aesthetic popular at the time. But the mix of custom homes ranging from approximately $850,000 to $3.25 million is built by a variety of custom builders, which is a nice change of pace from single-builder neighborhoods that can look too homogeneous. And sometimes just a paint job will make the difference in getting a 6,000+ square foot home for under $200 a square foot. This neighborhood, close to The Star and minutes away from Legacy West, is well-established with lush trees, landscaped grassy areas, and a wooded creek.

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Bristol Place

Address: 6251 Bristol Place, Frisco

  • 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths
  • 6,931 square feet
  • $1.35 million
  • Listed by Ben Wegmann of Rogers Healy and Associates

Located on an interior lot of a cul-de-sac, this 2007-built home by George C. Fuller Custom Homes has a classic timeless appeal with its brick and stone exterior. Inside you’ll find hand-scraped floors, vaulted ceilings, six fireplaces, and extras like a wine cellar and fully equipped media and game room. Yes, it’s got some of the original faux finishes on the walls and ceilings, but it’s just paint. Open floor plan and soaring ceilings give this home a great place from which to make it your own. (more…)

Photo: Jeff Turner

To all the talented journalists and Dallas Morning News employees that were handed pink slips recently: I know how overwhelming this feels. When I was suddenly laid off from the same publication in 2009, I felt unmoored and somewhat lost. You will find a way to move on, though, so hang in there.

The advice offered by human resources that morning was very basic: I was instructed to file for unemployment as soon as possible and given information on COBRA benefits. While the information I received was far from comprehensive, one thing that was missing was information on how this sudden loss of income would affect my repayment of student loans, credit accounts, and most important of all, my mortgage. 

What do you do if you’re a federal employee that has been furloughed due to the government shutdown, or you’re a worker who was just laid off, and you have a mortgage? 

“If you see that you’re not going to be able to make your payments, call your lender and see what options are available to you,” said Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. “The bottom line is this: don’t put it off.”

Not every lender is the same, nor is every mortgage or change in employment, so it’s crucial to contact your lender immediately if you think your employment situation might cause you to get behind on your mortgage. Sometimes a lender may be able to offer a loan modification or a forbearance to ensure that you pay as much as you can on your loan until you get back on your feet. 

Important note: When your lender reaches out after a missed mortgage payment, you cannot stop the process of foreclosure by ignoring the mail notices. 


Alleged bomber Sayoc (right) making America great again. (Source: Facebook)

Turns out Cesar Sayoc, the person now (so far) charged with five federal crimes for allegedly sending 13 pipe bombs to various Democrats apparently had a bigger bone to pick with Republicans. While no specific motive has been ascribed yet, here’s one …


Huge kudos to Teresa Gubbins over at CultureMap, who spied a real anomaly in our Texas market: a foreclosure. Even when there are supposed to be fewer foreclosures in Dallas! And not just any foreclosure, but a foreclosure in the honeypot of Preston Hollow, on the same street where T. Boone Pickens recently sold his flawless $5 million estate after his last marriage ended.

The home at foreclosure auction is 9410 Alva Court

at the corner of Deloache Ave., in one of Dallas’ most celebrity-studded neighborhoods. Once owned by restaurant mogul Norm Brinker, it was purchased by colorful oncologist Dennis Birenbaum in 2002, who deserves props for recommending that people avoid eating junk food. In February, the property went into foreclosure, and is owned by Bank of America.

The home was actually built by a Dallas physician, anesthesiologist Dr. Terry James. His daughter is Jamie O’Banion, the skincare guru. And yes, Nancy Brinker slept here — a lot. The Brinkers bought the home from the James because one of the downstairs bathrooms was outfitted to easily accommodate the handicapped.  This is where Nancy Brinker lived when she was in Dallas and married to Norman. The home was then purchased by oncologist/hemotologist Dr. Dennis Birenbaum in 2002, as Teresa reported. It went into foreclosure, and the bank took it back in late February of this year. As you can see from the photos, this house needs some love…


Apocryphally, Black Friday is the day when retailers finally turn a profit on the year (not the color of your mother’s bruises getting you a Cabbage Patch doll).  Yes, the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the only profitable month and it’s so profitable it makes up for the losses of the remainder of the year.

Real estate is waiting for its own turn at profitability from the depth of the Recession.  You may be cowed into thinking that all of that is behind us. Nope.  You may think that Dallas has recovered.  Nope.


After an adverse sale, whether a short sale or a foreclosure, the idea of owning a home again feels far off and challenging. But if you’re ready to wade back into the waters of homeownership after bankruptcy or another life event, Bob Johnson (AKA BobMortgage) has some sage advice for you.

And there’s no better expert in mortgages than Bob Johnson, senior mortgage advisor for the nation’s oldest private mortgage lender, Wallick & Volk. With more than 20 years of industry experience helping thousands of people in all types of buyer situations, he’s seen it all and has the knowledge to help guide you through buying a home after foreclosure, bankruptcy, or a short sale. Click through for more:


Ponderosa1 copy

One of Catherine & Nicole’s recent short sales

Let’s face it: mortgage note holders don’t have a lot of patience. If you’re behind on your mortgage payments for more than three months, most mortgage companies are not going to sing Kumbaya.

That’s why, if you know that your income will not be sufficient to make the house payments going forward, it may be time to consider a short sale on your home lickety split. A short sale can help you avoid foreclosure and salvage your credit rating while still letting you liberate yourself from your home loan.

Trouble is, homeowners often wait until they receive a notice of foreclosure from the lender before starting the short sale process. In some cases, it’s already too late. I grabbed our short sale experts, Nicole Espinosa and Catherine Aliaga DFW Short Sale Experts, whom we have chatted with previously. We asked Nicole and Catherine for their very best advice to clients:

NE:  If you face financial hardship and know you will default on your loan, start thinking about a short sale right away. You can always stop the process if your financial situation turns around for the better, but if you wait too long to start, you could miss the window of opportunity. (more…)