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October foreclosures up 10 percent from September

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 11th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Foreclosures of U.S. homes increased in the month of October from the previous month of September by as much as 10 percent. The states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Indiana reported the highest increases. The number of homes scheduled to be auctioned or repossessed by lenders also posted monthly increases.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, which are warnings that can lead to a home being lost to foreclosure. All hit a seven-month high in October.

Foreclosures had slowed a year ago after it was learned that many lenders were handling foreclosure documentation, inaccurate mortgage paperwork using several shortcuts, commonly known as "robo-signing."

A year ago, several major banks acknowledged problems with paperwork they were using to file foreclosure actions against delinquent homeowners. They announced various changes in practices and temporary moratoriums in new filings while they worked through the problems.

The banks now appear to have put this behind them and are proceeding to address a swelling backlog of homes with mortgages that have gone unpaid, something that lenders are seeing more of as the economy struggles and unemployment remains high.

Credit agencies report that 5.88 percent of homeowners missed two or more payments, an early sign of possible foreclosure, up from 5.82 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

The number of U.S. homeowners underwater on their mortgage, owing more than their homes are worth, is yet another potential source of trouble for lenders.

As of June 30, some 22.5 percent of all U.S. homes had a mortgage that was under water, or 10.9 million properties. Another 2.4 million borrowers had less than 5 percent equity in their home.

In some states, the number of homeowners put on notice by banks for missing payments far exceeded the national average for October.

According to RealtyTrac, Florida posted a 28 percent jump in October from September in homes receiving an initial default notice. Pennsylvania saw a 50 percent increase and Indiana registered a 61 percent gain.

In spite of registering a 34 percent drop in foreclosure activity overall, Nevada still registered the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for October, with one in every 180 households receiving a foreclosure-related notice.

Lenders took back 67,624 properties in October, up 4 percent from the previous month, but down 27 percent from a year earlier.

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