More than 259,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in November, down 7% from October, but 28% higher than a year ago, according to the research firm RealtyTrac. Some 78,000 folks actually had their home repossessed.
The falling month-over-month number doesn’t mean there’s a bottom to the crisis. Many lenders have initiated foreclosure freezes for the holidays. And some state laws have made it more difficult for lenders to take back homes.
Indeed many experts expect a spike in foreclosure filings in the new year. Some homeowners are deliberately not making their payments to try to qualify for loan modification programs. Other homeowners who entered into payment plans with lenders earlier in the year may still find themselves unable to cover their expenses.
The Federal Reserve predicts that new foreclosures this year will reach about 2.25 million, more than double pre-crisis levels.
In RealtyTrac’s report, Nevada, Florida and Arizona had the nation’s top foreclosure rates.