Foreclosures Rise In January

Foreclosures rose 12 percent in the US in January, but the state-to-state difference in the numbers suggest lenders are still backed up by investigations into their foreclosure procedures. According to a report from Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, 78,133 US homes were foreclosed last month, 12 percent higher than December’s total, but still 11 percent lower than January 2009.

Among the states where foreclosures do not require a judicial process, foreclosures climbed 23 percent, while states that require a judge’s approval for foreclosures saw a 7 percent decline in seizures. Analysts say the data indicates that lenders have not yet caught up with the backlog created by voluntary halts and slowdowns in foreclosure processes when the whole industry was in question as a result of the robo-signing scandal.

The number of foreclosure filings, including notices of default, bank repossessions, and scheduled auctions, climbed 1 percent in January to 261,333. Filings are still 17 percent below totals reported in January, 2009. The total breaks down to one in 497 US household receiving a foreclosure filing. California accounted for over a quarter of foreclosure filings in January, and together with Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Arizona, accounted for more than half.

Nevada, meanwhile, recorded the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the forty-ninth consecutive month, with one in 93 homes receiving a filing. The ratio is more than five times the national average.