Editor’s note: Tomorrow in Inman News, we’ll publish the first of a three-part series on changes in the foreclosures and default management markets. Many experts expect foreclosures to rise in the next year. We’ll explore how things will be different for lenders, investors and real estate agents working with these properties.

The worst-case scenario in a changing housing market is that the number of foreclosures goes through the ceiling and people get pushed out of their homes.

Nothing gets uglier than when people lose their homes. Hard-earned savings, home improvements and the family home are destroyed due to economic circumstances. Sometimes, homeowners are simply irresponsible, but more often job loss, divorce or personal tragedy is behind a foreclosure.

During the last market downturn, foreclosures were at record levels. During that low point in the cycle, the industry did a poor job of keeping homeowners in their homes and mitigating the risk associated with delinquent mortgage loans.

But this time around, thanks to technology, foreclosures should be less painful for both homeowners and the real estate and mortgage industries. This special three-part series examines how the loan default and foreclosure processes will be different this time around.

In Part 1, “Technology brings more competition to foreclosures market,” we looked at the impact of new technology developments on real estate agents who specialize in selling foreclosures and REO properties (real estate owned by lenders). Many Web-based services offer updates of properties that are about to go into foreclosure, which can give agents an edge over the competition.

In Part 2, “Web sites streamline foreclosure, pre-foreclosure sales,” we examined some of the new online services that specialize in creating a marketplace for foreclosures and pre-foreclosures. Some sites focus on selling the property before it hits foreclosure, while others focus on getting the best price for banks in the least possible amount of time after the property has foreclosed.

In Part 3, “Lenders save money with new default, foreclosure technologies,” we talked to the mortgage banking industry about their new systems for handling defaults and foreclosure processes. Lenders are benefiting from a more streamlined process. They’re cutting costs and more efficiently unloading these properties.

Foreclosures are the ugly side of home ownership that everyone hopes to avoid. However, with new developments in the space and the Internet, the process has been pulled out of hiding. For the most part, more information is available to come up with the best possible solution when people face losing their homes.

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