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Published: Thursday, 12/11/2008

Foreclosures drop in U.S. but spike in Michigan


Foreclosure-related activity dropped nationwide last month but rose in Michigan, which has one of the worst rates in the country.

The national drop, however, may not last, according to RealtyTrac Inc., an online tracking firm which released the figures today.

Chief Executive James Saccacio said, "There are several indications that this lower activity is simply a temporary lull before another foreclosure storm hits in the coming months."

Delinquencies on loans that are not yet in the foreclosure process have jumped 7 percent in the fall, and government reports show that more than half of homeowners who received loan modifications to reduce monthly mortgage payments in the first half of 2008 are delinquent again, he said.

The number of default and auction-sale notices and bank repossessions totaled 259,085 in the United States in November, down 7 percent from the previous month and up 28 percent from a year earlier, the RealtyTrac report showed.

That amounts to one filing for every 488 housing units, the lowest rate since June, the firm's report said.

But Michigan foreclosure activity rose 28 percent in November from the prior month and 27 percent from a year earlier. The state's total of 14,594 affected properties was the third highest in the country, behind California and Florida. Its one filing per 309 housing units was fifth worst in the country, trailing Nevada, Florida, Arizona, and California.

Ohio had 12,883 filings in November, up 6 percent from October but down 21 percent from a year earlier. Its one filing per 392 housing units was seventh worst in the country, behind Georgia.

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