Foreclosure Filings Set New High at 2.8M Properties

ForeclosuresForeclosure notices set a record in 2009 with a total of 2,824,674 U.S. properties affected, up 21 percent from 2008 – and up 120 percent from 2007, said RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosures, in its annual report.
For December, foreclosure filings were reported on 349,519 U.S. properties, a 14 percent jump from the previous month and a 15 percent increase from December 2008. Foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter, though, decreased 7 percent, compared with the third quarter – but still up 18 percent from fourth quarter 2008.
The overall numbers for 2009 could have been worse if not for “foreclosure-processing delays” such as mortgage relief efforts under the Obama Administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program and court-mandated foreclosure mediations to clear case backlogs, according to RealtyTrac.
The annual report also found that 2.21 percent of all U.S. households – one in 45 – received at least one foreclosure filing during the year, up from 1.84 percent in 2008, 1.03 percent in 2007 and 0.58 percent in 2006.
Nevada, Arizona and Florida posted the three highest foreclosure rates for the year, and the four states with the largest foreclosure numbers – California, Florida, Arizona and Illinois – accounted for more than 50 percent of the total for the year.
“After peaking in July with over 361,000 homes receiving a foreclosure notice, we saw four straight monthly decreases driven primarily by short-term factors: trial loan modifications, state legislation extending the foreclosure process and an overwhelming volume of inventory clogging the foreclosure pipeline,” said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio in a prepared statement.
For its report, RealtyTrac collected data from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all phases of foreclosure.
For state-by-state foreclosure filing rates, click here.

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