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Home foreclosures soaring nationwide

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A new report published by real estate data provider ATTOM found that there were 32,938 properties in February with foreclosure filings, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. That marks an 8% increase from the prior year, although it is down 1% from the previous month.

The February rise of foreclosures is another symptom of Americans struggling with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. 

Fox Business reports that according to Zillow, housing affordability is the worst it has been in decades, thanks to a spike in home prices and mortgage rates. Combined, the two have helped to push the typical salary required nationwide for homeownership up to $106,500 — a stunning 61% increase from the $59,000 required just four years ago.

In South Carolina, foreclosures surged 51%, while Missouri saw a 50% jump and Pennsylvania a 46% increase. Foreclosures in Texas rose 7%, and in Indiana they climbed 0.8%. Although foreclosures are rising, they remain well below the levels recorded during the 2008 financial crisis, reports Fox Business.

However, the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan rose to 6.74% this week, Freddie Mac reported, which is well above the pandemic-era lows of 3%. And even though mortgage rates have more than doubled in just three years, home prices have hardly budged.

Fox Business states that the problem could soon get worse as high home prices, mortgage rates and property taxes bite Americans:

The Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate hike campaign sent mortgage rates soaring above 8% for the first time in nearly two decades last year. Rates have been slow to retreat, hovering near 7% as hotter-than-expected inflation data dashed investors’ hopes for immediate rate cuts.

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Economy

NYC bill trying to repeal ‘sanctuary city’ laws put in place by liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio

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New York lawmakers are introducing a bill this week to undo “sanctuary city” laws approved from 2014-2018 under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat. Council members Robert Holden (D-Queens) and Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) told The New York Post they’ll introduce the bill Thursday.

Among the laws to be reversed include the prohibiting of the NYPD, and Correction and Probation departments from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents unless the cases involve suspected terrorists or serious public safety risks. It would also reverse rules prohibiting city agencies from partnering with ICE to enforce federal immigration laws.

“Sanctuary city laws put all New Yorkers, both immigrants and longtime residents, in danger by preventing the NYPD and DOC from working with ICE,” said Holden, a moderate Dem. “We do not need to import criminals, and only 23 years since 9/11, we have forgotten the deadly consequences of poor interagency communication. We must repeal these laws immediately.”

“Like most things in New York, sanctuary city policy is a social experiment gone off the rails,” said Borelli. “All the problems with these local laws came out during the public-hearing process, but the Council just stepped harder on the gas pedal.”

In February, Mayor Eric Adams called for the rules to be loosened so migrants “suspected” of “serious” crimes could also be turned over to ICE — as they once were under sanctuary city policies implemented as early as 1989 under ex-mayors Ed Koch and Michael Bloomberg.

Among public reasons for the push is the murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.  If it wasn’t for the sanctuary city policies, Riley is among other deaths that could have been prevented if the policies were not in place, Holden and other critics have said.

The 22-year-old was found dead Feb. 22 on the University of Georgia’s campus, six months after her alleged killer Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was arrested in Queens and charged with endangering a child.

The Post explains of the case:

The NYPD had no choice but to cut the Venezuelan-born Ibarra loose — instead of turning him over to federal immigration officials — because he didn’t have any major crime convictions.

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams shot down the mayor’s idea just one day later, saying she and the rest of the Council’s progressive Democratic majority wouldn’t be considering any rule changes. The bill introduced this week is also likely to face objections from the Council’s left-wing Democratic majority.

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