After Brief Respite, Foreclosures in Ohio on Way Back Up

 Data from CWRU's NEOCANDO project
Data from CWRU's NEOCANDO project
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The number of Ohio homeowners finding themselves on the other side of a new foreclosure suit has been falling since hitting a peak last fall. Over the summer less than one percent of Ohio home loans entered into the foreclosure process, the lowest level in five years. But the Mortgage Bankers' Association says the number of new foreclosure starts in Ohio rose in the third quarter of 2011. This mirrors nationwide trends.

Paul Bellamy heads the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Office. He says the numbers of foreclosures started in Ohio's most populous county, Cuyahoga, jumped 17 percent in the third quarter of 2011 from the three months before. Bellamy attributes the drop and subsequent rise in foreclosures to last fall's so-called robosigning scandal, when disclosures of questionable or illegal signatures on mortgage paperwork prompted lenders to halt their foreclosure proceedings. Now, Bellamy says, they are catching up.

Paul Bellamy: The theory is the industry has put this all behind them and they are ready to proceed again. In the meantime there's still a log jam in the delinquent group so that there's a whole lot of foreclosures that have to be filed just to catch up with where the industry is ordinarily.

Also on the rise is the number of Ohioans late on their mortgage payments. The Mortgage Bankers Association says 9.3 percent of Ohio mortgage holders are late on their payments or in some part of the foreclosure process.

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