U.S. Foreclosure Filings Fall to Five-Year Low

Foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — slipped 7 percent in September compared to the previous month and were 16 percent down from a year ago.
September’s total of 180,427 properties marks the lowest total of foreclosure filings since July 2007, according to the latest update from RealtyTrac.
The September low helped drop the third quarter foreclosure figures to their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2007.
The decreases were fueled mostly by significant pullbacks in non-judicial foreclosure states, such as California, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Michigan.
Several judicial foreclosure states — including Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and New York — continued to buck the national trend, registering substantial year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity in September and the third quarter.
U.S. foreclosure starts in the third quarter decreased both from the previous quarter and a year ago, reversing a bump in foreclosure starts in the second quarter.
Several states where foreclosures were not delayed because of improper documentation investigations could see “a roller-coaster pattern in foreclosure activity” because of new legislation or court rulings that substantively change the rules to properly foreclose, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
“A backlog of delayed foreclosures will likely build up in those states as lenders adjust to the new rules, with many of those delayed foreclosures eventually hitting down the road,” Blomquist said.
Florida’s foreclosure rate ranked highest in the nation in September, the first time since April 2005 that Florida has held the No. 1 spot.
Florida foreclosure starts in September surged 24 percent from a year ago — the 11th straight month with an annual increase — and Florida bank repossessions (REO) increased 23 percent year over year — the ninth straight month with an annual increase.
Third-quarter foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis in 14 out of the 26 states with a primarily judicial foreclosure process, including New Jersey (130 percent increase), New York (53 percent increase), Indiana (36 percent increase), Pennsylvania (35 percent increase), Connecticut (34 percent increase), Illinois (31 percent increase), Maryland (28 percent increase), South Carolina (16 percent increase), North Carolina (14 percent increase), and Florida (14 percent increase).

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