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Foreclosure numbers show largest record drop

by Adam Russett on March 10, 2011

The newest foreclosure numbers from RealtyTrac show a 14 percent drop from one month ago and a 27 percent dip from one year ago, the biggest decline on record.

The factors include delays in foreclosure processing due to winter weather, as well as the backlash against robo-signing.

"The bottom line is that the industry is in the midst of a major overhaul that has severely restricted its capacity to process foreclosures. We expect to see the numbers bounce back, but that will likely take several months. And monthly volume may never return to its peak in March 2010 of more than 367,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings," said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac.

Robo-signing refers to banking practices revealed in fall of 2010, in which banks approved foreclosure paperworks without verifying them – a legal but improper shortcut, according to MortgageLoan.com.

Banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America were all sued over "improper foreclosure processing," according to TheStreet.com, which placed a further dent in the new foreclosure numbers.

In total, there were approximately 225,000 property foreclosures recorded, with Nevada, Arizona and California – known as the "Sand States" – posting the three highest state foreclosure rates.

The numbers mean that one out of every 577 homes were foreclosed, according to CNN. Home repossession due to delinquent payment numbered 64,643, down from 102,000 in September of 2010.

In the wake of the robo-signing scandal, some states such as Florida have pursued foreclosure proceedings through the courts, often resulting in judicial delays. Florida's foreclosure filings were 65 percent lower than last year, reported the news source.

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