Foreclosure Activity Edges Higher In January

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The January home foreclosure rate provides another sign that the pace is accelerating after slowing sharply last year while lenders sorted out foreclosure-abuse claims.

The foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac says foreclosures rose 8 percent nationally last month from December, but were down 15 percent from a year earlier.

Despite the annual decrease at the national level, some states posted sharp increases compared to January 2011. In New Hampshire, foreclosures jumped 62 percent. In Massachusetts, 75 percent.

That trend is expected to strengthen this year in light of last week's $25 billion settlement between the nation's biggest mortgage lenders and 49 state attorneys general over the industry's handling
of foreclosures.

RealtyTrac projects foreclosures will rise 25 percent this year to 1 million homes. Last year, lenders took back 804,000 homes.

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