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Philadelphia saw 50 percent increase in foreclosure filings since last February

3/29/2012 | Real Estate Blog

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, foreclosure filings in the Philadelphia metropolitan area rose nearly 50 percent from last February. The numbers indicated that one in 828 homes had foreclosure filings, a 47.2 increase from last February. Mortgage defaults reportedly increased 35 percent over the same time period. The numbers are not surprising, as half of the largest metro areas in the United States reported increases in foreclosure activity over the last year.

As our Philadelphia readers know, foreclosure backlogs in court systems have played a large role in slowing down the improvement of the housing market. Perhaps not surprisingly, states where foreclosures are handled by courts saw a 24 percent overall increase from last February, whereas states where they are handled outside court saw a 23 percent overall decrease from last February.

One factor that may be playing part in foreclosure increases in judicial foreclosure states is the recent $25 billion foreclosure fraud settlement. The settlement, as our readers likely already know, states that banks will pay roughly $20 billion to assist borrowers avoid foreclosure. Most of the money will go toward loan reductions for those who owe more on their homes than they’re worth. Another $5 billion will go to federal and state governments, with roughly a third of that money going to Americans who were wrongly foreclosure on between 2008 and 2011.

The foreclosure settlement, it is worth noting, did not indicate that banks admitted any wrongdoing against consumers.

Some have predicted that the settlement will result in a continued increase in foreclosures through the end of the year. The numbers may also be affected by the end of funding for a state program designed to save homeowners from foreclosure.