Dollars & Sense

Home foreclosures fall to their lowest level since 2007

Updated: 2014-01-22T04:12:33Z

By STEVE ROSEN

The Kansas City Star

Home foreclosures nationwide ended 2013 at their lowest level since the early stages of the mortgage crisis in 2007.

A report by the RealtyTrac mortgage research firm said the number of foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — was down 26 percent in 2013 from the previous year.

The nearly 1.4 million properties in some form of distress last year also were down 53 percent from the 2010 peak of 3 million homes facing foreclosures, RealtyTrac said. By comparison, 1.3 million homes were in foreclosure in 2007 when the housing market collapsed.

Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac, said the numbers indicate the “shadow cast by the foreclosure crisis is shrinking.” He predicted that foreclosure totals will drop “in greater numbers” in 2014.

The number of troubled properties in Kansas and Missouri also fell dramatically last year.

The foreclosure rate in Kansas declined nearly 39 percent last year from the previous year, with 5,506 properties in distress status, RealtyTrac said.

In Missouri, the total number of troubled properties declined about 40 percent in 2013 from the previous year. There were 14,471 homes facing foreclosure in 2013, the report said.

The states still facing the highest foreclosure rates in the nation were Florida, Nevada, Illinois, Maryland and Ohio.

Millions of homeowners are still dealing with the pain caused by the “massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing price bubble burst, both in the form of homes lost directly to foreclosure as well as home equity lost as a result of the flood of discounted distressed sales,” Blomquist said.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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