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BUSINESS
October 15, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The number of U.S. houses left vacant because of foreclosure fell 43 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, yet New Jersey's share of these so-called zombies keeps it at the top of a national list. RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., real estate information company that monitors foreclosures, reports that the number of these zombies - houses vacated by their owners at the start of foreclosures that were never completed - rose 29 percent in New Jersey year-over-year in the third quarter.
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
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 25, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Can you be a Monday morning quarterback on a Sunday morning? If not, let me say that we are still on cleanup duty for the real estate market of 2016. We'll start with the worst: foreclosures. As of November, the number of started foreclosures reached its lowest level in 10 years. Filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 104,111 U.S. properties in November, a drop of nearly 10 percent from the previous month and down more than 7 percent from 2014.
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.
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...
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
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.
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REAL_ESTATE
January 25, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Can you be a Monday morning quarterback on a Sunday morning? If not, let me say that we are still on cleanup duty for the real estate market of 2016. We'll start with the worst: foreclosures. As of November, the number of started foreclosures reached its lowest level in 10 years. Filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 104,111 U.S. properties in November, a drop of nearly 10 percent from the previous month and down more than 7 percent from 2014.
BUSINESS
October 15, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The number of U.S. houses left vacant because of foreclosure fell 43 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, yet New Jersey's share of these so-called zombies keeps it at the top of a national list. RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., real estate information company that monitors foreclosures, reports that the number of these zombies - houses vacated by their owners at the start of foreclosures that were never completed - rose 29 percent in New Jersey year-over-year in the third quarter.
BUSINESS
July 31, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The number of U.S. homes worth less than what is owed on their mortgages dropped in the second quarter, another positive sign that the national housing market is shaking off the effects of the prolonged downturn. RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif.-based real estate information company that monitors foreclosures, reported Thursday that the percentage of so-called seriously underwater properties fell to 13.3 percent of all U.S. homes with mortgages in the quarter, or 7.44 million. "Seriously underwater" is defined by RealtyTrac as those houses for which the combined loan amount secured by a property is at least 25 percent higher than the property's estimated market value.
REAL_ESTATE
June 7, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
A couple of studies have crossed my electronic desk, and I thought I'd share them with you, because both relate to topics I have written about in recent weeks. The first is a Cornell University analysis, published in an article in the June issue of the American Sociological Review, contending that foreclosures "fueled racial segregation in the United States. " The paper, co-authored by Kyle Crowder of the University of Washington and Amy Spring of Georgia State University, acknowledges that nine million American families have lost their homes to foreclosure since the real estate downturn started in 2007.
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.
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