More U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process in the third quarter, but it took longer for those homes to be sold or repossessed by lenders, USA Today reported October 13, 2011.
The number of U.S. homes that received a first-time default notice during the July to September quarter increased 14 percent from the second quarter, according to RealtyTrac, a company that sells foreclosure data. Not all homeowners who receive a default notice will have their home foreclosed on.
"That increase signals banks are moving more aggressively now against borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments than they have since industrywide foreclosure processing problems emerged last fall. Those problems resulted in a sharp drop in foreclosure activity."
Across the nation, 195,878 properties received a default notice in the third quarter. Despite a sharp increase from Q2 2011, the total was still down 27 percent from the third quarter of 2010. Lenders took back 196,530 homes during the quarter, a 4 percent decline from the second quarter and down 32 percent from Q3 2010.
Banks remain on track to repossess some 800,000 homes this year, a significant drop from more than 1 million repossesions last year.
"While banks appear more willing to start the foreclosure countdown on borrowers, they haven't put a dent in the overall length of the foreclosure process. In the third quarter, it took an average of 336 days, or 11.2 months, for a home to go from an initial notice of default to being foreclosed by a lender, RealtyTrac said. That's up from 318 days, or 10.6 months, in the second quarter and represents the longest span of time for the foreclosure process since the first quarter 2007, the firm said."
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