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Q1 RealtyTrac Foreclosure Report a Mixed Bag

by Reno Manuele

Foreclosure filings fell 23 percent nationally in 2013’s first quarter, but the situation in many local markets offered a more nuanced portrait.

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Foreclosure filings nationwide declined in RealtyTrac’s latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, though unsurprisingly, the situation was a bit more complicated on the local level.

Surveying the first quarter of 2013, RealtyTrac’s report found that foreclosure filings, which covers default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, fell 12 percent quarterly and 23 percent yearly; with 442,117 filings, the first quarter had the lowest foreclosure filings since 2007.

But again, the scenario was a bit more nuanced on the local level. Foreclosure starts were up from February to March in 23 states, and in 12 states, starts were up annually. In New York and Maryland, for instance, starts were up 200 percent and 193 percent, respectively, from the year before.

Here in Illinois, foreclosure activity in the first quarter actually declined 2 percent quarterly and 5 percent yearly, though the state still has the third highest foreclosure rate in the nation. Also, with 1 in every 116 homes receiving a filing, Chicago has the ninth highest rate among metropolitan markets.

Bert Gor, the president of The Short Sale Group, Inc. with RE/MAX Professionals Select, said that though foreclosure filings remain high in the Chicagoland area, the city’s foreclosure market is actually much healthier, on account of a stronger interest in short sales and debt forgiveness from the area’s lenders. Even with homeowners who delay in seeking foreclosure alternatives, Gor said, banks are generally more open to alternatives than in years past.

“Theres been big progress,” he said.

Interested in how Chicago’s foreclosure rate compares with the rest of the nation? See our infographic below for some perspective.

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