Foreclosure process dragging along

Feb. 21, 2011 at 1:58 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A mortgage foreclosure in the United States now takes an average of 17 months to process, a firm that tracks home seizures said.

LPS Applied Analytics said the average processing time jumped from 410 days in January 2010 to 507 in December. The longer average is attributed to the enormous numbers of foreclosures and to lenders pulling back on foreclosures after courts reacted negatively to processing shortcuts lenders were taking, USA Today reported Monday.

In addition, attempts to help homeowners with loan modification programs was contributing to the delays, the newspaper said.

Before the financial crisis that began in 2008, the average processing time for a foreclosure was about 250 days, said LPS Senior Vice President Herb Blecher.

Diane Pendley, managing director of Fitch Ratings, estimates homeowners involved in foreclosures currently remain in their homes on average 19 to 20 months without making a payment before they are evicted from the home. That time period will continue to grow this year, she said.

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