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Foreclosure Report Gives Mixed Results, New State Takes Top Spot

ForeclosureThumb.jpgForeclosure activity nationwide showed a one-percent increase in August from the prior month, but has actually decreased a solid 15% from last August’s figures, according to the most recent report from online foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac.

The report yielded mostly mixed state-by-state results, with some states still experiencing significant spikes in foreclosure-related activity.

States that process foreclosures through the courts — including Florida, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey — saw an increase in deferred foreclosure activity. Non-judicial states — those without a judicial foreclosure process — experienced a general slowdown in foreclosure activity, overall.

The foreclosure numbers are likely due in large part to the new standards set forth by the National Mortgage Settlement. While aimed at correcting the foreclosure crisis, the servicing standards for financial lending institutions have also significantly delayed the process in some of the hardest hit states, particularly those with judicial processes in place. As these states rebound and are slowly able to begin handling the backlog of foreclosures, the spiking trend witnessed in the RealtyTrac’s August report is likely to continue in the months to come.

Illinois, for the first time since RealtyTrac began issuing its foreclosure reports in 2005, became the nation’s leader with the highest foreclosure rate, posting a 29% leap in activity in August, or one in every 298 housing units. It supplants Nevada, which held the top spot for several years. Florida posted the second highest foreclosure rate.

Despite nine months of consecutive year-to-year decreases in overall foreclosure activity, California is still the nation’s third place leader for the highest rates, with one in every 340 California housing units filing for foreclosures in August. Seven California cities — Modesto, Merced, Bakersfield, Fresno, Stockton, Riverside, and Chico — rank the highest in foreclosure rates across the nation.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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