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Published: Friday, 7/16/2010

Lucas Co. foreclosure rate Ohio's 2nd-highest

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS REPORTS

Lucas County had the second-highest rate of foreclosure activity of any Ohio county during the first half of 2010, according to data released by RealtyTrac, a foreclosure listing service based in California.

One of every 57 homes in Lucas County experienced some kind of foreclosure activity - default notices, scheduled auctions, or bank repossessions - during the first half of the year. Statewide, only Marion County fared worse, with one of every 48 properties experiencing foreclosure activity.

Properties in Lucas County with foreclosure filings grew 9 percent over the same period in 2009, and it was 16 percent higher than it was during the last half of 2009, RealtyTrac said.

Nationwide, nearly 528,000 homes were taken over by lenders in the first six months of the year, a rate on track to eclipse the more than 900,000 homes repossessed in 2009, the company said.

By comparison, lenders historically have taken over about 100,000 homes a year, Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac vice president, said.

Among states, Michigan had the seventh-highest rate of foreclosure filings, with one in every 58 homes affected, while Ohio ranked 14th, with 1 in every 85 homes affected.

Daren Blomquist, an analyst with RealtyTrac, said foreclosure activity in Ohio and Michigan appears to have plateaued, though dangers remain.

"I think we're kind of at a fork in the road where we could see it going either way," Mr. Blomquist said. "We're not seeing huge increases over last year. However, there's still a lot of uncertainty in the housing market that could cause another spike in the [foreclosure] numbers."

Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate the first half of the year, with one in every 17 households there receiving a foreclosure notice.

Arizona, Florida, California, and Utah were next among states with the highest foreclosure rates.

Households facing foreclosure in the first half of the year rose 8 percent versus the same period last year, but dropped 5 percent from the last six months of 2009.

In all, about 1.7 million homeowners received a foreclosure-related warning between January and June. That translates to one in 78 U.S. homes.

- Larry P. Vellequette



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