Minuses, Pluses for Connecticut In New Foreclosure Report

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There is an encouraging sign on the home foreclosure front today: a new report shows that activity in the third quarter fell in 131, or 62 percent, of the nation’s 212 metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more.

But Connecticut doesn’t have much to celebrate.

RealtyTrac, which tracks and markets foreclosed properties, said today the four Connecticut metro areas that made the list — New Haven-Milford; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk; Norwich-New London; and Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford — all saw double-digit increases compared with a year ago.

Foreclosure activity includes first-time notices, auctions and lender repossessions.

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk topped the state’s metro areas in the report with a 59-percent increase, followed by Norwich-New London, at 50 percent; Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, at 31 percent; and New Haven Milford, at 22 percent.

The increases compare with a 13-percent decline for the nation as a whole.

One likely explanation for the increase is that Connecticut processes foreclosures through the courts. Court proceeding were held up during investigations of shoddy paperwork being submitted by some of the country’s largest lenders.

Now that there has been a settlement in the case, the backlog is starting to work its way through the system, foreclosure experts in Connecticut have said.

There was a bright spot for Connecticut in the report: the concentration of filings among households was far less than in some metro areas that saw the biggest drops in foreclosure activity.

For instance, in the Stockton, Calif. metro area, foreclosure filings fell 21 percent in the third quarter, but there was still one filing for every 67 households, the heaviest concentration in the country.

The nation as a whole had one filing for every 248 households.

By contrast, Connecticut’s metro areas fared much better. Here how they stacked up and their ranks on the list:

  • New Haven-Milford: one in 314. (#104)
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk: one in 323. (#106)
  • Norwich-New London: one in 329. (#109)
  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford: one in 395. (#128)
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