Mortgage meltdown in East TN

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Knoxville (WVLT) Tennessee is feeling more of the burn from the mortgage meltdown.

A website ranks Tennessee 11th in foreclosure filings last year up about 25 percent from the year before.

But do the numbers tell the whole story?

Volunteer TV's Gordon Boyd looks at the winners and losers.

Clearly, several other states have it worse.

But the numbers are large enough in Memphis that the property assessor there wants to hear from his counterparts in Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga, to see what it might be doing to home values.

Jan Thomas's gallery, is the last place you want your home pictured.

"It's people that's fallen behind on their county taxes. You have to be 2 years, two to three years delinquent, before we take it to a sale."

The website, claims almost 2,500 Knox County properties are on track for trouble.

Roughly a third of them already back in the banks hands, most cases, the mortgagors are trying to sell them first.

In this market, there are a lot of opportunities, interest rates are low.

Nationally, and in East Tennessee, Realtors association are trying to counter the pain by suggesting it could be your gain.

Every market's different, call a Realtor today.

Joe Garrison, with Consumer Credit Counseling Service says, "as far as to try to say, now's the time to try to go out and buy a foreclosed home I don't think it's any better than its ever been, there's just more of them now."

Garrison says a foreclosure auction could get you a home simply by paying off the old mortgage.

But, because so many of those bad loans came with no, or low down payment, he says, "if there's no equity in the home, unless you want to purchase a home to move into, if you're trying to do that to make money, it's probably not as good as you might think."

Tax foreclosures can be a bargain, simply pay the taxes owed.

But the former owner has up to a year to get the property back, simply by paying the taxes and interest.

John Whitehead, the Knox County Property Assessor says, "if you're gonna invest it, I wouldn't want to make any major improvements until that time frame's up."

Assuming you're staying put, property watchers say, a foreclosure or distressed sale the next street over, may not hurt you much.

But if sell and the appraiser uses that price for comparison, it's gonna bring down the value of your home.

The trustee's yearly foreclosure sale is April 22.

The winners, if there are any?

Folks with enough cash to put ten to twenty percent down, then living in, or renting out their properties until the market bounces back.