Report: US Foreclosures Drop In 2011

Posted January 11th, 2012 at 11:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The battered U.S. housing market looked a little better in 2011, but that may change soon.

A company that tracks foreclosures says owners of 1.8 million properties got notices they were in some stage of the foreclosure process in 2011. That is about one-third less than the number of properties facing foreclosure the prior year. RealtyTrac says the foreclosure rate in the United States was at the lowest level since 2007.

When homeowners fail to repay the loans used to buy their property, they get a series of notices of delinquency before the bank takes the property and sells it to recover the loan money.

That complex process was delayed after reports showed some lenders made serious errors in approving loans or in the process of repossessing properties.

RealtyTrac's report says clearing up those problems delayed foreclosures in 2011, but predicts the number of homeowners going through the process will increase this year.