A day after legislators agreed on how to pay for another year of the state's foreclosure mediation program, a report released today shows foreclosure filings in Connecticut soared 22 percent in March compared with the previous month.
The national increase was 19 percent for the same period, RealtyTrac, the foreclosure tracking firm, said in its monthly report of national and state-by-state foreclosure trends.
The number of filings nationally in March was the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac first started reporting in January 2005.
There was a bit of good news for Connecticut in the report: Filings were 3.2 percent below the same month a year ago. Even so, a troubling number of residential borrowers are still falling behind on monthly payments, despite signs of a nascent economic recovery.
The General Assembly agreed Wednesday to take $3.3 million from the fund used to operate the state Department of Banking and extend the mediation program for another year. Gov. M. Jodi Rell backed the expenditure as part of the deficit mitigation plan approved by the legislature.
The legislature still must approve the extension, and is expected to.
Connecticut had 2,793 foreclosure filings in March, compared with 2,294 the previous month. That means one in every 517 households filed for foreclosure, well above one in 352 for the nation.
RealtyTrac's report takes a different measure of troubled borrowers from the one conducted quarterly by the Mortgage Bankers Association. RealtyTrac examines lis pendens, auction notices and filings by lenders when they repossess a property. The Mortgage Bankers Association tracks mortgages in various stages of delinquency and in the foreclosure process.
Foreclosure filings are now being driven primarily by borrowers who have lost their jobs, the majority of them borrowers with good credit histories rather than more risky, subprime borrowers.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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