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193,508 households received foreclosure filings in August, up 1 per cent from last month, but down 15 per cent from last year, according to RealtyTrac’s latest foreclosure report.One important positive sign for the housing market was that foreclosure starts – the pace at which mortgages enter the foreclosure process – declined, after three consecutive monthly increases.
Foreclosure starts were filed on 99,045 properties for the first time. This is down 13 per cent from a year ago, but up 1 per cent from last month.
On annual basis foreclosure starts were up in 18 states. Foreclosure starts were up a whopping 143 per cent in Washington, which also saw a 38 per cent year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity, after 16 monthly declines.
“The rebounding activity in Washington state is likely the result of lenders catching up with foreclosures delayed by a state law that took effect in July 2011 and allowed homeowners facing foreclosure to request mediation. This rebounding pattern will likely be repeated in the coming months in other states that have passed legislation delaying the foreclosure process,” according to Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.
But foreclosure starts were down in states like Oregon, Nevada, Utah and others because of recent regulations like Oregon’s foreclosure mediation program, that allows homeowners at risk of default a chance to meet with lenders to find alternatives to foreclosures.
The decline in foreclosure starts, along with yesterday’s report about declining negative equity, is adding to signs of a bumpy recovery in the housing market.
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