Foreclosure Filings Jump in July

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 13, 2009; 1:04 PM

Foreclosure filings jumped again in July, including a 25 percent increase year in the District, despite a massive government program aimed at keeping millions of borrowers in their homes.

RealtyTrac counted 360,149 foreclosure filings nationally, which can range from default notices to bank repossessions. That was up 7 percent from June and 32 percent from July 2008. RealtyTrac, a private firm, says its data include more than 90 percent of U.S. households.

Half the foreclosure activity was in four states -- California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida -- which have been hardest hit by the housing downturn. But foreclosure activity in the Washington region also grew significantly. Compared with June, for example, foreclosure filings in July jumped 25 percent in the District.

This comes as the Obama administration attempts to speed help to borrowers through its Making Home Affordable program. "Despite continued efforts by the federal government and state governments to patch together a safety net for distressed homeowners, we're seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank repossessions," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac.

Less than 10 percent of delinquent borrowers eligible for the Obama administration's foreclosure prevention program have received help so far, according to Treasury Department estimates released last week. The report showed that implementation of the program has been uneven and that some homeowners are still struggling to get help. The administration has said that it aims to help 500,000 borrowers by Nov. 1 and up to 4 million before the program expires in 2012.


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