After four months of declines, foreclosures rise in December, report shows

January 14, 2010 09:27AM

Foreclosure filings shot up 21 percent last year after 2.8 million U.S. properties — one in every 45 households — received notices from their lenders, according to real estate data firm RealtyTrac. While foreclosure activity slowed by 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, as compared with the third, it was up 18 percent year-over-year. In December 2009, 349,000 properties received foreclosure notices, a 14 percent month-over-month increase, despite the fact that a number of lenders agreed to foreclosure moratoria for the holidays. December’s was the first monthly increase since July’s peak at more than 361,000 foreclosure filings, RealtyTrac’s report says. Filings had been decreasing since then because of trial loan modifications, state legislation, and a backlog of foreclosures, said James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac. Nevada led the country in its foreclosure rate, with filings reported on more than 10 percent of homes. Arizona and Florida rounded out the top three. Moody’s has predicted that 2.4 million homes will be foreclosed or auctioned off in 2010. [USA Today] and [Reuters]