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Foreclosure Starts Reach N.M. Record

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Foreclosure starts in New Mexico rose to a record high in September, bucking the national trend of declining activity, according to Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac.

Foreclosure complaints were filed in district courts around the state against 954 homeowners behind on their mortgage payments, by far the largest monthly total since the foreclosure crisis hit New Mexico in late 2009. Civil complaints filed in court are the starting point for the foreclosure process here.

When later steps like bank repossessions and foreclosure sales are included, a total of 1,223 homes statewide were somewhere in the foreclosure process during September, a 42 percent increase from 863 homes in August and a 31 percent increase from 931 homes in September 2011.

Nationwide, total foreclosure activity dropped to the lowest level since July 2007.

The increased activity in New Mexico was typical of many of the 26 states that use a judicial process to handle foreclosures. Decreases in foreclosure activity were seen in states like California, Nevada and Oregon where legislation was enacted in the past year to add more requirements on lenders to foreclose.

“A backlog of delayed foreclosures will likely build up in those states as lenders adjust to the new rules, with many of those delayed foreclosures eventually hitting down the road, said RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist in a prepared statement.

For the third quarter, 2,570 homes in New Mexico were somewhere in the foreclosure process, up 24 percent from 1,611 home in the preceding second quarter but down 11 percent from 2,895 homes in the third quarter of 2011.

One out of every 351 residences in New Mexico was somewhere in the foreclosure process in the third quarter, ranking the state at 17 for having a high rate of foreclosure activity. The average rate nationally was one out of every 248 residences.

Foreclosure activity has remained comparatively high volume and intense in states like Arizona, California and Florida where home prices collapsed when the housing bubble burst.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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