Foreclosure filings in Missouri and Kansas climbed in October from a year earlier, as banks took action to prepare properties for sale before year-end, according to RealtyTrac, a housing data firm.
The number of filings in Missouri — representing default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — increased 6.5 percent last month compared with October 2013, RealtyTrac said. That amounted to 1,597 properties, or one in every 1,700 homes in the state.
Missouri ranked 27th overall in the country in foreclosure activity last month.
In the month-over-month comparison, foreclosure filings in Missouri last month were up 181 percent from September.
Kansas ranked 38th overall for foreclosure actions last month. It recorded a nearly 51 percent increase in problem properties in October compared with a year earlier. That represented 489 properties, or one in every 2,522 homes in the state, RealtyTrac said.
In the month-over-month comparison, foreclosure filings in Kansas were up nearly 40 percent from September 2014.
Nationwide, there was a 15 percent uptick in foreclosure filings last month from September, although the totals are still down 8 percent from a year ago. Maryland, Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Illinois ranked at the top of the foreclosure list.
In addition, nearly 60,000 homes were scheduled for foreclosure auction during the month, up 24 percent from September and up 7 percent from a year earlier. It represented the highest level since May 2013, RealtyTrac said.
The reasons behind the uptick in auctions are slightly different in every state, said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac. But the underlying theme is that banks are finally getting around to clearing a backlog of foreclosures that have been delayed.
Some of the delays were in states that require lengthy court approval processes for every foreclosure. In other cases, states passed laws to slow down the foreclosure process or lenders bungled their handling of foreclosure documents.
In 2010, lenders were forced to halt all foreclosures while they addressed widespread mortgage documentation problems. Two years later, lenders reached a nationwide settlement with state attorneys general over their practices.
“The rise in foreclosure auctions indicates that the banks and the courts are preparing for a spring cleaning,” Blomquist said.
The Star’s news services contributed to this story.
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