Foreclosure rates still on the rise

Montgomery County experienced the Capital Region’s highest rate of housing foreclosure filings in th

Montgomery County experienced the Capital Region’s highest rate of housing foreclosure filings in the first half of 2012, according to midyear data released Wednesday.

Sixty-two houses, or one in every 372 in the county, were in some stage of foreclosure during the first six months of the year, according to RealtyTrac, a firm that tracks foreclosures across the nation. More than a third of this activity took place in June, when default notices, auction sale notices or bank repossessions were reported on 23 homes.

Nationwide, more than 1 million properties were in foreclosure during the first half of 2012. The midyear data shows a 2 percent increase from the previous six months but a drop of 11 percent from the same period last year.

RealtyTrac also released second-quarter and monthly data for June in its latest foreclosure report, which showed that overall activity was down in the second quarter due to a drop in bank repossessions. Nevertheless, 311,010 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in the second quarter, a 9 percent increase from the first quarter and a 6 percent increase from the same time last year.

“Lenders and servicers are slowly but surely catching up with the backlog of delinquent loans that under normal circumstances would have started the foreclosure process last year,” said RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore in a news release issued Wednesday. “And that catching up is why the average time to complete the foreclosure process started to level off or decrease in some states in the second quarter.”

It decreased by 5 percent in New York from the first quarter to the second quarter of the year. But New York still maintains its national rating as the state with the longest foreclosure time.

In the immediate Capital Region, every county saw a midyear and quarterly increase in foreclosure activity. This means that activity in Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Fulton and Montgomery counties increased from the second half of 2011 to the first half of 2012, and from the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter.

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