Home foreclosures dip 3 percent

Chris Rizo Nov. 12, 2009, 12:01am

IRVINE, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-The number of Americans on the verge of losing their homes declined for the third consecutive month in October, a home foreclosure tracking service said Thursday.

The 3 percent decline in home foreclosures is the largely result of prevention programs, such as those for loan modifications, called for by many state attorneys general, analysts say.

In October, more than 332,000 households -- or one in every 385 homes -- received a foreclosure notice, down 3 percent from a month earlier, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac said Thursday.

The service said banks and other financial institutions repossessed more than 77,000 homes last month, down from nearly 88,000 homes in September.

Home foreclosure filings are up 19 percent from a year ago, RealtyTrac said.

"The fundamental forces driving foreclosure activity in this housing downturn -- high-risk mortgages, negative equity, and unemployment -- continue to loom over any nascent recovery," RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio said in a statement. "We continue to see foreclosure activity levels that are substantially higher than a year ago in most states."

Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate for the 34th month in a row. The Silver State is followed by California, Florida, Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Maryland and Utah.

California, Florida, Illinois and Michigan collectively accounted for 52 percent of last month's home foreclosures.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Monday that roughly 20 percent of eligible homeowners, up 4 percent over the prior month, were in trial loan modifications under the federal Home Affordable Mortgage Program.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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