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Foreclosure Activity Increases 1 Percent in January

RealtyTrac® released its  U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for January 2011, which shows foreclosure  filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 261,333 U.S. properties in January, a one percent increase from the previous month but a 17 percent decrease from January  2010. The report also shows one in every 497 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

“We’ve now seen three straight months with fewer  than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20 straight months where the total exceeded 300,000,” said James J. Saccacio, chief  executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Unfortunately this is less a sign of a robust housing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down in reviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal arguments related to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.”

Foreclosure Activity by Type
A total of 75,198 U.S. properties received default notices (NOD, LIS) in January, a one percent decrease from the previous month and a 27 percent decrease from January 2010 — the 12th straight month where default notices decreased on a year-over-year basis. January was also the fourth straight month where default notices decreased on a month-over-month basis, giving it the lowest monthly total for default notices since July 2007. 

Default notices in states with a non-judicial foreclosure process (NOD) increased less than one percent from the previous month but were down 8 percent from January 2010, while default notices in states with a judicial foreclosure process (LIS) decreased two percent from December and were down 39 percent from January 2010.

Lenders foreclosed on 78,133 U.S. properties in January, up 12 percent from the previous month but still down 11 percent from January 2010. Bank repossessions (REO) in non-judicial foreclosure states increased 23 percent from December but were still down 9 percent from January  2010, while bank repossessions in judicial foreclosure states decreased 7 percent from the previous month and were down 16 percent from January 2010.

Nevada, Arizona, California post top state foreclosure rates
Nevada bank  repossessions increased 16 percent from the previous month, helping the state  maintain the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 49th  straight month — despite month-over-month decreases in default notices and  scheduled auctions. One in every 93 Nevada  housing units received a foreclosure filing in January — more than five times  the national average.

One in every 175 Arizona housing  units received a foreclosure filing in January, the nation’s second highest  state foreclosure rate. Arizona  foreclosure activity increased 16 percent from the previous month — driven by a  54 percent month-over-month increase in REOs — but was still down 25 percent  from January 2010.

California REO  activity increased 32 percent from the previous month, and the state posted the  nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 200 housing  units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Idaho posted the nation’s  fourth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 241 housing units  receiving a foreclosure filing, while Utah posted the nation’s fifth highest  state foreclosure rate, with one in every 265 housing units receiving a  foreclosure filing during the month.

Other states with  foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 in January were Michigan,  Georgia, Illinois,  Florida and Colorado.

Five states account for more than 50 percent of  national total
With 67,072 properties  receiving a foreclosure filing, California  accounted for more than 25 percent of the national total in January. After  hitting a 25-month low in November, California  foreclosure activity has increased on a month-over-month basis for two straight  months.

Florida foreclosure  activity decreased on a month-over-month basis for the fourth straight month,  but the state’s 21,671 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in January — a  42-month low — was still the second highest in the nation.

Michigan foreclosure  activity increased for the second straight month, and the state posted the  nation’s third highest total, with 16,716 properties receiving a foreclosure  filing in January.

Arizona posted the nation’s fourth highest total, with 15,757 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, while Texas posted the nation’s fifth highest total, with 14,897 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.

Other states with foreclosure activity totals among the nation’s 10 highest in January were Illinois (13,164), Georgia (12,772), Nevada (12,263), Ohio (8,924) and New Jersey (5,526).

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