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U.S. Foreclosures Fall, But Not Florida's

150,864 properties face foreclosure filing in January

Feb. 14, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Florida defied national activity last month with its foreclosure metrics taking a turn for the worse. National numbers were better, but the improvement was attributed to a new California law that is slowing down the foreclosure process.

January saw 150,864 residential U.S. properties hit with a foreclosure filing.

Filings include default notices and Lis Pendens; notices of trustee's sale and notices of foreclosure sale; and scheduled auctions and repossessions.

Activity fell from 162,511 filings made during the prior month and plummeted from 210,941 filings in the same month in 2012.

The findings were reported Thursday by RealtyTrac, which said it derives the statistics from data collected from more than 2,200 U.S. counties that account for more than 90 percent of the country's population.

More properties faced a foreclosure in Florida during January than in any other state: 29,800. Not only did the Sunshine State have the most foreclosures, it also bucked the national trend and increased from December, when 26,588 filings were made.

California slipped from the worst position the previous month to No. 2 with 18,093 filings in January, plunging from 29,925 filings a month earlier.

"The U.S. foreclosure landscape in January was profoundly altered by the effects of new legislation that took effect in California on the first of the year," RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said in the report. "Dubbed the Homeowners Bill of Rights, this legislation extends many of the principles in the national mortgage settlement -- including a prohibition on so-called dual tracking and requiring a single point of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure -- to all mortgage servicers operating in California."

No. 3 was Illinois with 14,090 foreclosures, then Ohio's 8,360 and Georgia's 7,920.

The four foreclosure filings in North Dakota were the fewest of any state.

150,864 properties face foreclosure filing in January

One foreclosure was filed last month for each 869 U.S. housing units, an improvement from one-in-810 for December 2012 and one-in-624 for January 2012.

At one foreclosure filed for each 300 properties, Florida's foreclosure rate was the worst in the nation and also worse than one-in-338 during December. Led by Ocala's one-in-223 rate, a total of six Florida cities were among the 10-worst areas in the country.

Nevada was next with a one-in-344 rate, a tad better than one-in-345 the previous month.

After that was one-in-375 in Illinois, one-in-501 for Arizona and on-in-513 in Georgia.

With just one foreclosure filing out of each 78,879, North Dakota had the most favorable foreclosure rate.

Nationally, mortgage servicers completed 50,453 foreclosures in January, fewer than 53,054 the prior month and a significant decline from 66,542 in the same month during 2012.

Real-estate-owned filings in Florida climbed to 9,073 from 8,220 during December. Florida had more repossessions than any other state.

California, on the other hand, saw REO filings drop to 5,975 from the previous month's 6,953.

With 4,216 completed foreclosures, Illinois grabbed the No. 3 spot, followed by 3,834 in Georgia and 2,848 in Ohio.

With only three filings, Washington, D.C., had fewer REO filings than any of the states did.

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