Foreclosures down in January, but surge on way?

Foreclosures down in January, but surge on way?

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There is great potential for investors to get out and assist home owners who are losing their homes...

The number of U.S. households facing foreclosure in January increased 15 percent from the same month last year, and a surge in cash-strapped homeowners who've fallen behind on mortgages could be on the way.

More than 315,000 households received a foreclosure-related notice in January, RealtyTrac Inc. reported Thursday. That number is down nearly 10 percent from 349,000 in December, which saw the third highest total since the company began tracking foreclosure data in 2005.

In January, one in 409 homes were sent a filing, which includes default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions. Banks repossessed more than 87,000 homes last month, down 5 percent from December but still up 31 percent from January 2009.

January marked the 11th straight month with more than 300,000 properties receiving a foreclosure filing. The numbers could stay above that level as unemployed homeowners who have tried to keep up with their mortgages finally start missing monthly payments.

Mortgage financier Fannie Mae reported in late January that the rate of borrowers who have a conventional loan on a house and are seriously delinquent was 5.29 percent in November, more than doubling the rate of 2.13 percent in November 2008. Borrowers are considered seriously delinquent if they are past due by three months or more, or are in foreclosure.


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