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NEWS
July 7, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Residential real estate has its own version of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead.   Call it Zombie Foreclosures . RealtyTrac, a search engine that collects real estate data nationwide, defines the phenomenon this way: "properties that have started the foreclosure process but have never been foreclosed and the homeowner has vacated. " One in five U.S. homes in foreclosure, or 141,406, are zombies, it says. Andrew Frank, of Long & Foster Real Estate in Blue Bell, said he's been told many zombies rose from the "robo-signing" era of 2008 through 2010, when some mortgage servicers failed to read foreclosure documents before submitting them to courts or other agencies for action.
NEWS
February 11, 2010
Foreclosure filings in January fell almost 10 percent nationally from December, but were still 15 percent higher than January 2009, RealtyTrac of Irvine, Calif., reported today. Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida remained the top foreclosure states; Pennsylvania was 34th of 50, while New Jersey was 16th. "January foreclosure numbers are exhibiting a pattern very similar to a year ago: a double-digit percentage jump in December foreclosure activity followed by a 10 percent drop in January," said James J. Saccacio, RealtyTrac's chief executive officer.
NEWS
August 26, 2011 | BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales this spring. While that's a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it's six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market. Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders, accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said yesterday. The share of the market would likely have been larger this spring if not for a state and federal investigation into faulty paperwork by banks and servicers.
REAL_ESTATE
October 13, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The lull in foreclosures nationwide has given real estate search engine RealtyTrac an opportunity to crunch its data in several other, somewhat unusual ways. A recent example, prepared by RealtyTrac subsidiary Homefacts, ranked U.S. counties "based on the prevalence of man-made environmental hazards. " Which was interesting, of course, because Philadelphia's aggregate score placed it near the top of the hazard list of more than 3,100 counties. Each county's score was based on five environmental hazards: bad air-quality days, the number of Superfund sites, the number of brownfield sites, polluters, and former drug labs per square mile.
NEWS
March 12, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Foreclosure filings in February rose 6 percent nationally from January and were 30 percent above February 2008, RealtyTrac Inc. reported today. Pennsylvania saw an increase in filings of 73.9 percent from February 2008, but RealtyTrac spokesman Daren Blomquist attributed the increase to better data collection in counties in central and Western Pennsylvania in March and April. Pennsylvania's total filings, 4,192, kept it in 31st place among the 50 states, or one foreclosure for every 1,307 properties.
BUSINESS
September 13, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
The number of foreclosure filings nationally increased 27 percent in August, compared with a year earlier, but the rise was much lower than in recent months, the Irvine, Calif., company RealtyTrac reported yesterday. One in 416 U.S. households, or 303,879 properties, received notices or were foreclosed on last month, the firm reported, a 12 percent increase from July. A 40.9 percent monthly boost in filings, primarily in northern and central New Jersey, pushed the state into 11th place among those with the highest foreclosure rates for the month, with one filing in 536 households - above the national average - said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's chief economist.
REAL_ESTATE
July 28, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
I thought I would weigh in one more time on "zombie" houses, subject of an article I wrote for the July 6 Inquirer's news pages. According to RealtyTrac, the real estate search engine, in the Philadelphia region there are 6,101 of these so-called zombies - houses on which the foreclosure process was begun but never completed, yet they were vacated by the homeowners early on. RealtyTrac defines the region as the city; the four suburban Pennsylvania...
NEWS
May 13, 2011 | Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - Fewer Americans had their homes repossessed by banks or were put on notice for being behind on their mortgage payments in April compared to a year ago. That would ordinarily suggest improving fortunes for U.S. homeowners, but the decline had less to do with any turnaround in the housing market than with foreclosure processing delays that appear to be getting worse. That is threatening to drag out a housing recovery, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said yesterday.
BUSINESS
January 18, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
  Foreclosure filings fell 3 percent nationally in 2012 from 2011's levels and were 36 percent below their 2010 peak, RealtyTrac reported Thursday. Filings did increase in New Jersey (up 55 percent) and Pennsylvania (up 28 percent) last year, the Irvine, Calif.-based real-estate information firm said, but were still below the levels of 2010, considered a record year for foreclosures nationwide. States experiencing hefty increases in 2012, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, were those in which the courts handle foreclosures, said RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist.
BUSINESS
September 14, 2012 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
States that process home foreclosures through the courts, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, experienced an increase in filings in August over July's levels, RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosures nationwide, reported Thursday. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth dropped by 600,000 at the end of the second quarter, according to real estate data provider CoreLogic. Nationally, the foreclosure-filing rate rose 1 percent from July to August but was down 15 percent from August 2011, RealtyTrac said.
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NEWS
January 16, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Foreclosure filings nationwide last year fell to their lowest level since 2006 and were down by more than a million properties from 2010's recession-aftermath peak of roughly 2.87 million. RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., housing data and analytics provider that tracks filings across the United States, reported Thursday that last year's 1,117,426 total filings, while down considerably from that peak, still represented an increase of 400,000 since the housing boom of the last decade began to go bust.
NEWS
October 22, 2014
LISA SHEPARD followed the rules. She got a good education. She became a registered nurse and then got a law degree. Her schooling led to a good job in health-care management. She bought a home she could afford in Jessup, Md. She lived within her means. Then the recession hit. We spiraled into a housing crisis that sank the financially irresponsible and those preyed upon by predatory lenders. But it also dragged down people like Shepard, who lost her job in 2011. "I went from six figures to no figures," says Shepard, 52, who is the caregiver for her 10-year-old daughter as well as her ailing 72-year-old father.
REAL_ESTATE
October 13, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The lull in foreclosures nationwide has given real estate search engine RealtyTrac an opportunity to crunch its data in several other, somewhat unusual ways. A recent example, prepared by RealtyTrac subsidiary Homefacts, ranked U.S. counties "based on the prevalence of man-made environmental hazards. " Which was interesting, of course, because Philadelphia's aggregate score placed it near the top of the hazard list of more than 3,100 counties. Each county's score was based on five environmental hazards: bad air-quality days, the number of Superfund sites, the number of brownfield sites, polluters, and former drug labs per square mile.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
New Jersey's foreclosure-filing rate skyrocketed in August, by 115 percent over the same month in 2013, pushing the state into the Top Five, housing-data analytics firm RealtyTrac said Thursday. The Garden State had the fourth-highest U.S. foreclosure-filing rate, one in every 553 housing units, RealtyTrac reported. By contrast, Pennsylvania saw its filing rate continue to fall, by 12.06 percent year over year. Among the nation's metropolitan areas, Atlantic City had the second highest foreclosure-filing rate - one in every 292 housing units, or nearly four times the national average.
REAL_ESTATE
July 28, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
I thought I would weigh in one more time on "zombie" houses, subject of an article I wrote for the July 6 Inquirer's news pages. According to RealtyTrac, the real estate search engine, in the Philadelphia region there are 6,101 of these so-called zombies - houses on which the foreclosure process was begun but never completed, yet they were vacated by the homeowners early on. RealtyTrac defines the region as the city; the four suburban Pennsylvania...
NEWS
July 7, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Residential real estate has its own version of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead.   Call it Zombie Foreclosures . RealtyTrac, a search engine that collects real estate data nationwide, defines the phenomenon this way: "properties that have started the foreclosure process but have never been foreclosed and the homeowner has vacated. " One in five U.S. homes in foreclosure, or 141,406, are zombies, it says. Andrew Frank, of Long & Foster Real Estate in Blue Bell, said he's been told many zombies rose from the "robo-signing" era of 2008 through 2010, when some mortgage servicers failed to read foreclosure documents before submitting them to courts or other agencies for action.
REAL_ESTATE
January 13, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Although some real estate agents in the suburbs are telling me that distressed houses are still available, it appears there are fewer now than there have been in many months. Based on the latest numbers I have - for November, as collected by RealtyTrac, the California-based foreclosure search engine - foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions) were reported for 113,454 U.S. properties. That November level was 15 percent lower than October's and a 37 percent drop from November 2012, RealtyTrac's report said.
REAL_ESTATE
July 1, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Philadelphia is one of the top 15 cities for buying a fixer-upper, says RealtyTrac, the foreclosure-property search engine. Having tried over the last 32 years to fix up two of Philadelphia's houses, might I add this: Be careful what you wish for. Those houses of mine, though needing work, did not fall into the "distressed-property" category. Because RealtyTrac deals with foreclosures, it's talking about bank repossessions in the city - in this case, 865 houses built before 1960 and valued at less than $100,000.
NEWS
April 23, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
Whenever John Aponik cuts the grass, bits of blue tarp get caught in the blades of his lawn mower. Around Christmas, "it gets in all the wreaths," Aponik said of the tarp that has been shredding off the house next door to his on Glen Lane in Cherry Hill, where a renovation project was abandoned four years ago. No one has lived in the house since then, Aponik said, although it isn't exactly vacant. "Raccoons, possums - cats were breeding out there," Aponik said, who has set traps lent to him by a neighbor.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2013 | By Alex Veiga, Associated Press
Low mortgage rates have made buying houses more affordable and turned rentals into attractive options for investors. "In this market, at this point, it's a sweet spot," says Chris Princis, a senior executive at financial advisory firm Brook-Hollow Financial and owner of two rental properties in Chicago. "You're getting the market where it's just starting to rebound, but still at the bottom, with what's looking to be a great recovery. " Here are tips on becoming a landlord or investor in rental property: Understand what it means . If you elect to buy a property for the long-term investment potential, the goal should be to ensure that the rental income covers the cost of your mortgage and monthly maintenance costs.
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