Foreclosure Rates Creep Up Again

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The rate of foreclosures in the U.S. has crept up again, after a number of months of improvement in some states. The way the courts in several states treat the foreclosure process is part of the reason, because courts can slow the procedure in some cases. The RealtyTrac’s Foreclosure Market Report:

August 2012, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 193,508 U.S. properties in August, an increase of 1 percent from July but down 15 percent from August 2011. The report also shows one in every 681 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

The research firm added that 20 states documented year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity. Illinois posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the first time since Jan 2005. In the Midwest state, “one in every 298 housing units with a foreclosure filing.” In more detail:

Twenty states registered year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity, led by judicial foreclosure states such as New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

States that traditionally have had the worst foreclosure rates were not spared. Florida and California stayed high on the list. So did the cities that have had the most real estate sales trouble, coupled with high unemployment. The number of these cities was particularly high in California:

Foreclosure activity increased from the previous month in the California cities of Modesto (14 percent), Merced (50 percent), Bakersfield (62 percent), Fresno (178 percent) and Chico (87 percent). In Merced, foreclosure activity increased 13 percent from August 2011 after 33 months of year-over-year decreases.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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