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Affidavits Cut Into Foreclosure Activity

Foreclosure activity eased last month as the foreclosure affidavit crisis slowed U.S. filings. The number of properties hit with a filing was almost identical to a year ago.

Last month, 332,172 U.S. properties were hit with a foreclosure filing — including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. Filings eased from 347,420 foreclosures during September.

“The numbers probably would have been higher except for the fallout from the recent ‘robo-signing’ controversy,” RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James J. Saccacio explained in the report.

RealtyTrac previously reported 332,292 October 2009 filings. So far this year, 2,998,291 foreclosures have been reported.

Monthly filings were dominated by California, where 66,475 properties had a filing — tumbling from 75,204 a month earlier. Florida fell to 56,858 filings from 59,514, and Michigan moved lower to 19,288 from 21,812. Next was Illinois’ 16,969, then No. 5 Arizona’s 16,538.

One out of every 389 U.S. households faced a foreclosure last month, improving from one-in-371 during September. The foreclosure rate also improved from the same month last year, when it was one-in-385.

The worst foreclosure rate continued to reside in Nevada, where one-in-79 housing units faced foreclosure during October. But the Silver State improved from a one-in-69 rate the prior month.

No. 2 Florida had a one-155 rate, while Arizona had a one-in-165 rate and one-in-201 housing units in California were filed against. No. 5 Michigan had a rate of one-in-235.

Zeroing in on real-estate-owned filings, October saw 93,236 REOs filed in the United States, fewer than 102,134 a month earlier but still worse than 77,077 repossessions in October 2009.

REOs totaled 913,270 from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31.

With 13,754 REO filings, California barely surpassed Florida, where 13,434 foreclosures were completed. Michigan had 6,797 REOs, then Texas’ 6,168 and No. 5 Arizona’s 5,546.

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