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County foreclosures plunge – The Register

Foreclosures in Lane County fell by almost 17 percent in January compared to the previous month and plunged by 43 percent compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, a California-based firm that tracks foreclosures nationwide.

Last month, 95 Lane County households — or one in every 1,643 — received some sort of foreclosure notice, according to RealtyTrac.

“The numbers tell the story,” said John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capital in Eugene. “Foreclosures declined significantly in 2011 and the decline in foreclosure activity continues in 2012. The real estate market is healing itself.” Gorilla Capital specializes in buying properties at foreclosure auctions, fixing them up and re-selling them.

However, a RealtyTrac executive cautioned that foreclosures may soon start rising again. Attorneys general in 49 states — including Oregon — recently reached an agreement with the five largest lenders in the country on handling foreclosures. The lack of an agreement had stalled some foreclosure filings, RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore said.

“The settlement sets forth clear guidelines for lenders and servicers to follow when foreclosing, which should allow them to push through some of the delayed foreclosures from last year,” Moore said. “Other roadblocks to foreclosure are still in place at the state level, however, including legislation altering the foreclosure process and lawsuits against lenders. We expect to see somewhat uneven trends in local and regional foreclosure numbers going forward as lenders work through these additional legislative and legal roadblocks.”

Although foreclosures nationally have been down on a year-to-year basis for 16 straight months, Moore said there are signs on a local and regional level that the frozen-up foreclosure process is beginning to thaw.

“Foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time in more than 12 months in Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania, following a pattern we saw in late 2011 in states such as California, Arizona and Massachusetts,” he said.

Moore said he expects this pattern to continue in the coming months, “especially given the finalized mortgage and foreclosure settlement,” with the state attorneys general.

Article source: http://www.registerguard.com/web/business/27631368-41/foreclosures-foreclosure-county-realtytrac-compared.html.csp

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