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Foreclosure activity up slightly in NM

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4closeForeclosure activity bumped up in New Mexico from December to January, but continued a general year-over-year decline in step with the rest of the country, according to foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac.

Statewide, there were 575 homes in the foreclosure process last month, an 8 percent increase from 532 in December but a nearly 11 percent decrease from 644 in January 2013. Nationwide, foreclosure activity in January also increased 8 percent from December and dropped 17.5 percent from a year earlier.

At the height of activity in 2010, an average of 928 homes a month were somewhere in the foreclosure process across the state, according to RealtyTrac data. By 2013, the monthly average had dropped to a still elevated level of 627 homes.

A pair of matching memorials to form a task force to look at New Mexico’s foreclosure process have been progressing through state House and Senate committee hearings without opposition. The United South Broadway Corp. in Albuquerque would be appointed to organize and run the task force.

“We are hopeful the full body will provide the support that will allow us to move forward with the formation of a task force this year,” said United South Broadway executive director Diana Dorn-Jones in an email.

An Albuquerque community development agency that provides foreclosure prevention services, United South Broadway would pull together lenders, homeowners, housing counseling agencies, members of the legal community and others to look at ways to improve the foreclosure process.

New Mexico is one of 22 states that uses the court system to handle foreclosures. This so-called judicial process has been characterized as time-consuming, but the seven-page memorials working through the state Legislature points to other issues as well.

If the memorials are approved as written begin to report is findings and recommendations by Nov. 1.

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