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Foreclosure Activity Improves

New foreclosures started, total foreclosure filings and repossessions all moved down on a month-over-month basis. But completed foreclosures rose from a year ago.

During the first month of this year,
residential loan servicers initiated the foreclosure process on 41,471 U.S. properties, down a percent from December 2015.

Compared to January 2015, there was an 18 percent reduction in new foreclosure filings. That brought to seven the number of consecutive year-over-year declines.

RealtyTrac provided the data.

Including all types of foreclosure filings, there were 95,186 properties hit with a filing in January 2016 — the fewest since July 2006.

Total filings fell 8 percent from a month earlier
and were down 11 percent from a year earlier.

There was one foreclosure filing on each 1,395 U.S. housing units,
improving from one filing for each 1,277 homes previously reported for December. January 2015’s foreclosure rate was one-in-1,102.

New Jersey had the highest foreclosure rate: one filing for each 590 housing units. No. 2 was Nevada, where the rate was one-in 603. After that was one-in-690 in Maryland, one-in-789 in Florida and one-in-859 in Delaware.

At just one filing for each 24,612 housing units, South Dakota had the lowest foreclosure rate in the nation.

Mortgage servicers completed 29,275 foreclosures last month, a 26 percent decline from the prior month.

But real-estate-owned filings climbed 32 percent from the same month in 2015 — marking the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year deterioration.

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