RealtyTrac: Foreclosures Up Three Percent in January

RealtyTrac released this week its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for January 2012, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 210,941 U.S. properties in January. That was a 3 percent increase from the previous month but still down 19 percent from January 2011. The report also shows one in every 624 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.
“Although overall foreclosure activity was down from a year ago for the 16th straight month in January, we continue to see signs on a local and regional level that the frozen-up foreclosure process is beginning to thaw,” said Brandon Moore, CEO of RealtyTrac. “Foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time in more than 12 months in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania, following a pattern we saw in late 2011 in states such as California, Arizona and Massachusetts.
“We expect the pattern of increasing foreclosures to continue in the coming months, especially given the finalized mortgage and foreclosure settlement reached in early February between 49 state attorneys general and five of the nation’s largest lenders,” Moore continued. “The settlement sets forth clear guidelines for lenders and servicers to follow when foreclosing, which should allow them to push through some of the delayed foreclosures from last year. Other roadblocks to foreclosure are still in place at the state level, however, including legislation altering the foreclosure process and lawsuits against lenders. We expect to see somewhat uneven trends in local and regional foreclosure numbers going forward as lenders work through these additional legislative and legal roadblocks.”
The full report can be viewed here.

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