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The Storm Before the Calm

347,420 foreclosure filings in September

Oct. 14, 2010

By staff

By most measures -- foreclosure filings, foreclosure rates and repossessions -- national foreclosure activity deteriorated on a month-over-month basis and a year-over-year basis. In fact, repossessions were the highest on record. But an upcoming improvement in these metrics is likely.

Mortgage servicers filed foreclosures on 347,420 U.S. properties last month, more than the 338,836 properties that faced foreclosure in August. September's activity was also higher than the same month last year, when 343,638 properties had filings.

RealtyTrac said filings included default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

Filings in the state with the most foreclosure volume, California, jumped to 75,204 from August's 69,143. In Florida, the No. 2 state, foreclosures increased to 59,514 from 56,877.

Michigan's 21,812 filings ranked it third, followed by 17,117 Arizona foreclosures and 16,363 filings in No. 5 Nevada.

Only 29 foreclosure filings were recorded for Vermont -- the fewest of any state.

Filings that occurred in all states from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 amounted to 2,666,119.

The nation's foreclosure rate came in at one filing for each 371 housing units last month, deteriorating from August's one-in-381.

As a share of households, Nevada is feeling the worst of the foreclosure wave. Out of each 69 households, one foreclosure was filed. A distant second, Florida had a rate of one-in-148.

No. 3 Arizona had a one-in-159 rate, while California's rate was one-in-178 and one Idaho borrower faced foreclosure for each 204 housing units.

Foreclosures are a rare occurrence in Vermont, where just one filing occurred for each 10,780 household units.

Completed foreclosures in the country climbed to 102,134 during September from 95,364 a month earlier and 87,821 a year earlier. RealtyTrac said it was the first time ever that real-estate-owned filings surpassed 100,000 in a single month.

However, the pace of REO filings is likely to slow, according to one expert.

Michael Waldron, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Patton Boggs LLP, predicted the decline in a telephone interview with Mortgage Daily. He explained that REO filings will probably fall during the upcoming months given the foreclosure affidavit crisis and the recent suspension of REO filings by major U.S. servicers.

RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio concurred in the report, adding that early-state foreclosure filings might also decline. The report indicated that foreclosure activity in 24 judicial foreclosure states accounted for 40 percent of third-quarter foreclosure activity and 36 percent of REO activity.

Year-to-date Sept. 30, REOs reached 820,034.

California's REOs came in at 17,756, more than the 15,218 filed there the previous month. Florida followed, with repossessions rising to 13,243 from 12,329.

REOs were 7,075 in Michigan, then Arizona's 6,904 and No. 5 Texas' 5,291.

Just 15 REOs were filed in Vermont -- the fewest of any state.

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