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REOs up locally, nationally in third quarter

The Charlotte region and North Carolina followed the national trend in seeing a spike in the number of homes reverting to bank ownership in the third quarter.

According to RealtyTrac, the number of repossessions in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia region nearly doubled in the latest quarter to 1,111 from 580 in the same period a year earlier.

Nationally, the number of REO properties, or those that have reverted back to the lender after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction, grew 66 percent year over year in the latest quarter. That’s the largest year-over-year increase, RealtyTrac says, since it began tracking quarterly foreclosure activity in the beginning of 2008.

RealtyTrac cites a flood of distressed properties in New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York that have finally hit the market after having been stalled by legislative and legal means. In New York, for example, there were 4,435 repossessions in the third quarter, up 469 percent from 779 a year earlier.

In North Carolina, banks reclaimed 4,058 homes in the third quarter, up 175 percent from 1,477 a year ago. The above-average rise is partly due to banks having pushed through foreclosures this year before a law protecting active military personnel was due to reset. Rising prices have also made it more attractive for lenders to dispose of foreclosed properties. And as in rest of the nation, North Carolina has been pushing through cases that languished in the courts for years.

Meanwhile the number of local properties in some stage of the foreclosure process, from a notice of default to scheduled auction to repossession, fell slightly in the Charlotte region. Locally, 3,142 homes were in foreclosure in the third quarter, down from 3,298 a year earlier.

In North Carolina, that figure rose 7 percent to 11,496. Nationally, the number of properties in foreclosure rose 3 percent to 327,258.

New Jersey posted the highest foreclosure rate in the third quarter, at one in every 171 homes. That was more than twice the national average of one in every 404 homes, RealtyTrac says.

Among the largest metros, Atlantic City, New Jersey, topped the list, with one in every 97 housing units being in some stage of foreclosure.

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