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Jan 12

Foreclosures drop to lowest level since 2007

2011 Foreclosures down 35% from 2010

Banks filed foreclosures on roughly 205,000 homes in December, the lowest monthly total since November 2007, according to RealtyTrac.

The 1.8 million foreclosures for 2011 dropped nearly 35% from 2010. Unexpected delays kept 2011 numbers from passing the previous year’s total as was originally expected. Still, one in every 69 homes received at least one filing.

Why?

“Foreclosures were in full delay mode in 2011, resulting in a dramatic drop in foreclosure activity for the year,” said Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac’s new CEO. “The lack of clarity regarding many of the documentation and legal issues plaguing the foreclosure industry means that we are continuing to see a highly dysfunctional foreclosure process that is inefficiently dealing with delinquent mortgages — particularly in states with a judicial foreclosure process.”

Problem with improper paperwork

Problems arose late in 2010 of improper filings at the state courthouses. Mortgage servicers and third-party firms will spend much of 2012 sorting through any financial harm done to borrowers, and settlement talks with the state attorneys general continue.

Foreclosure timelines vary wildly from state to state. It takes the longest in New York.

2012 foreclosures predicted to be higher than 2011

Lenders showed signs of pushing through the backlogs in the second half of last year.

“We expect that trend to continue this year, boosting foreclosure activity for 2012 higher than it was in 2011, though still below the peak of 2010,” he said.

Housing Wire, Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

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