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Watch out Mesa, foreclosure wave may roll in

Mesa homeowners should prepare themselves because the U.S. will be hit by another wave of foreclosures soon, according to a new report.

Online foreclosure sale site RealtyTrac warns that while we are currently seeing a slowdown in foreclosure activity, this is simply because the process is bogged down. Soon, a backlog of several million delinquent loans will be processed, giving way to bank repossessions, according to RealtyTrac.

A surge of default notices - the first step in the foreclosure process - recently took place. This was followed by foreclosure auctions hitting a nine-month high in November. A foreclosure auction takes place at a courthouse, where the home is sold to an investor or back to the bank.

At least one mortgage giant, Fannie Mae, has said it will not evict anyone until after the New Year, but banks are still working to process millions of foreclosure documents.

Many people who are affected by foreclosure tried very hard to make the right decisions when buying real estate. Of course, so many homeowners bought property when the market was booming and found that they could not afford their mortgages when the bottom fell out of the market.

Arizona actually posted an increase in foreclosure activity last month, but nationally, foreclosure activity was down 14 percent in November 2011 compared to November 2010.

One way to put an automatic halt on foreclosure proceedings is to file for bankruptcy. This will put what is called an "automatic stay" on the foreclosure, allowing it to roll into the bankruptcy protection action.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can often delay foreclosure for several months; Chapter 13, Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 are also options for certain people who want to save their homes. Which filing is best depends on the unique circumstances and particulars of your financial situation.

Source: CNBC, "New Foreclosure Wave is Coming," Diana Olick, Dec. 15, 2011