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Foreclosure Threat

A foreclosure sign sits in front of a home in Denver. Nationwide, initial foreclosure actions were up 10 percent in October, partly spurred by lenders correcting foreclosure paperwork and other processing problems. (The Associated Press)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The ranks of New Mexico homeowners falling behind on mortgage payments swelled in October, mirroring what’s happening around the country, new data show.

Initial foreclosure actions filed in state district courts against homeowners jumped 75 percent from 350 in September to 611 in October, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac reported Thursday. The pace of these initial filings is still down from the 663 reported statewide in October 2010.

Nationwide, initial foreclosure actions in October were up 10 percent from the previous month.

Foreclosure Rates By County
1. Santa Fe: 1 in every 452 homes
2. Sandoval: 1 in every 539 homes
3. Bernalillo: 1 in every 551 homes
4. Valencia: 1 in every 662 homes
5. Doña Ana: 1 in every 973 homes

“The October foreclosure numbers continue to show strong signs that foreclosure activity is coming out of the rain delay we’ve been in for the past year as lenders corrected foreclosure paperwork and processing problems,” said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio in a statement in the company’s latest report.

The brakes were put on foreclosure actions in late 2010 with the eruption of the so-called robo signing scandal, which centered around banks and other mortgage holders mass producing foreclosure actions with little or no legal oversight.

At the end of the foreclosure process in New Mexico, actual bank repossessions of homes dropped by half from 325 in September to 164 in October, RealtyTrac reported. Notices of pending foreclosure sales sent to homeowners dropped 19 percent from 256 in September to 207 in October.

Foreclosure filings of all types increased about 5 percent from 931 in September to 982 in October, although total activity was down 19 percent from October 2010. Nationwide, total foreclosure filings decreased 7 percent in October compared to September, but were down 31 percent from October 2010.

New Mexico’s foreclosure rate was one out of every 894 homes receiving a foreclosure-related notice in October, the 22nd highest ratio among the 50 states but healthier than the national average of one out of every 563 homes. The national average is weighted heavily by troubled housing markets in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Among New Mexico counties, Santa Fe had the highest ratio with one out of every 452 homes receiving a foreclosure-related notice in October. The second highest ratio was one out of every 539 homes in Sandoval County, which usually has the most foreclosure activity in the state.

Bernalillo County’s rate was one out of every 551 homes in October, while Dona Ana County’s rate was one out of every 973 homes. Grant County had the lowest rate of one out of every 14,312 homes.