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Judicial states, like Florida, hit harder by foreclosures

While recently released numbers show an overall decrease in nationwide foreclosures, it turns out that all of the judicial states combined actually saw an increase as opposed to a combination of all of the states where a judge is not required to sign off on a foreclosure. Florida is a judicial state.

When looking at the differences, in the judicial states, due to allegations tied to lenders not properly verifying documents, there was a slowdown in the number of foreclosures that were started and processed. However, with a recent $25 billion settlement reached among state officials and the largest mortgage lenders, the backlog of foreclosures that have been started and processed is increasing as lenders play "catch-up."

In fact, according to RealtyTrac Inc., when breaking foreclosure activity out by non-judicial versus judicial states, while non-judicial saw a 29 percent decrease in April this year versus April last year, comparing the same time period, judicial states saw a 15 percent increase.

When looking at the majority of states where there were increases in the number of homeowners receiving foreclosure notices, many of those notices went to properties where homeowners were behind on payments by two or three years. This means that there's a good chance that there are many Florida homeowners who may not have paid their mortgage in years who will now be receiving a notice and see their home be taken back by the bank.

In terms of the number of foreclosure notices sent out in April across the country, while there was an overall national 7 percent decrease from March to April, there were still 188,780 notices sent out. The process of foreclosure was also started on 97,665 homes, and banks took back 51,415 homes.

Source: The Associated Press, "US foreclosure trends improved April, but state-level data point to more repossessions ahead," May 17, 2012

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