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Foreclosure crisis could continue through 2012

There are a lot of reports out there on the housing market and it appears that the foreclosure crisis is subsiding, but some experts feel that there are other factors that need to be considered that are still affecting the housing market.

Many homeowners are still feeling the pressures of owning a home when they are upside down in their mortgage. Some are in the process of foreclosure, but because of the backlog, these numbers haven't been taken into account for national statistics.

According to RealtyTrac, a company that tracks foreclosure activity nationwide, in the past year, foreclosure rates have fallen in the United States to their lowest level since 2007, when the first increase in foreclosures was reported.

The decrease is deceiving and the decline is primarily the result of the 2010 controversy over "robo-signing," in which many loan servicers were accused of signing thousands of foreclosure documents without reading them, this is according to RealtyTrac's chief executive officer, Brandon Moore. Once the controversy was made public, it caused huge delays and state action by lenders, which now has created a backlog in processing.

Many states are not able to handle the volume of foreclosures and with millions of filings since the housing bubble burst; the process time for foreclosures in most states has increased. In New Jersey, it could take 964 days to process a foreclosure even though filings have dropped by 60 percent last year from 2010 levels. In 2007, it took only 297 days to complete the foreclosure process in New Jersey, according to RealtyTrac.

With the new year underway, many people are worried about the flood of new foreclosures hitting the real estate market. It will keep home prices down and slow economic growth.

Facing a foreclosure can be unsettling and one way to help you through this situation is to speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney. An attorney can help you figure out what options you have and suggest the best solution for you and your family.

Source: The Inquirer, "Experts: Beware a slow cascade of additional foreclosures in 2012," Alan J. Heavens, Jan. 15, 2012

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