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New Foreclosure Actions Jump Nearly 20% in August

Data released by ""Lender Processing Services"":http://www.lpsvcs.com (LPS) Monday shows that foreclosure starts were up in August by 19.7 percent when compared to the previous month.
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However, LPS noted ""in its report"":http://www.lpsvcs.com/LPSCorporateInformation/ResourceCenter/PressResources/MortgageMonitor/201108MortgageMonitor/LPSMortgageMonitorAugust2011-Final.pdf that the 247,957 foreclosures initiated in August represents a 12.2 percent decline from a year earlier.

At the same time, of the approximately 4 million loans that are either 90 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure, the number in the 90-plus day delinquency bucket â€" 2,148,179 â€" has contracted to levels not seen since 2008, according to LPS’ study.

That’s not the only indicator of improvement LPS documented for problem loans. The company’s latest report also showed that, of loans that were current six

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months prior, 1.4 percent had become seriously delinquent by August.

LPS says that percentage is less than half the rate seen in 2009, when the loan deterioration rate peaked at 2.9 percent.

At the same time, ""first-time"" delinquencies â€" new problem loans that had never been delinquent before â€" accounted for approximately a quarter of all new delinquencies, another sign of an improving trend for problem loans, according to LPS.

The company points out, however, that 23 percent of the nearly 46 million loans that were current as of the end of August were still at risk as a result of negative equity - a leading indicator of a borrower's propensity to default.

LPS’ analysis of mortgage performance data at August month-end showed an all-time high in the number of loans shifting from foreclosure back into delinquent status, suggesting that process reviews and potential loss mitigation activity are continuing.

As a result, the company says foreclosure timelines continue to increase, with the average loan in foreclosure having been delinquent for a record 611 days.

Average delinquencies in non-judicial states continue to be about six months shorter at the time of foreclosure sale when compared to their judicial counterparts, where
LPS says backlogs continue to be extremely high.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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