Foreclosure Filings Drop, But More Trouble Ahead?

Foreclosure filings dropped 6 percent from August to September, and marks a 38 percent decrease since September 2010, according to the latest RealtyTrac report.

“While foreclosure activity in September and the third quarter continued to register well below levels from a year ago, there is evidence that this temporary downward trend is about to change direction, with foreclosure activity slowly beginning to ramp back up,” says James Saccacio, RealtyTrac chief executive.

Already, foreclosures have posted slight increases when looked at on a quarterly basis. Following three consecutive quarterly decreases, foreclosure filings reversed trend in the third quarter, inching up slightly by less than 1 percent, RealtyTrac reports.

“This marginal increase in overall foreclosure activity was fueled by a 14 percent jump in new default notices, indicating that lenders are cautiously throwing more wood into the foreclosure fireplace after spending months spent trying to clear the chimney of sloppily filed foreclosures,” says Saccacio.

Meanwhile, the foreclosure process continues to be a lengthy one. Banks are taking an average of 366 days to from start to finish in the foreclosure process — that’s up from an average of 318 days during the second quarter, according to RealtyTrac.

Some states are posting even longer delays. For example, in New York, the foreclosure process took an average of 986 days — the longest in the country. In New Jersey, foreclosures dragged on average for 974 days. Foreclosures were moving more quickly in Texas, which had the fastest foreclosure process at an average of 86 days.

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