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Editor’s note: This story, which originally appeared here, is republished on Carolina Public Press through a content-sharing agreement with The Charlotte Observer.
U.S. foreclosure filings rose an average 7 percent in October compared with September but remain below last year’s levels, a new report shows.
Filings rose more dramatically in the Carolinas last month.
The data add to a growing belief among real estate experts that more foreclosures are on their way as the banks work through paperwork problems that led to a temporary moratorium on foreclosure filings last year.
“The October foreclosure numbers continue to show strong signs that foreclosure activity is coming out of the rain delay we’ve been in for the past year,” said James Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac, a real estate research firm that produced the report.
Foreclosure filings in North Carolina increased 35 percent between September and October.
South Carolina’s foreclosure filings also rose sharply, jumping 36 percent between September and October and rising 19 percent from the same time last year.
The big leaps don’t mean the Carolinas will suffer more foreclosure woes than the rest of the country, said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s director of marketing communications.
Instead, Blomquist said, picture the filings like an ocean wave.
“In the last 12 months, we’ve been in a period of calm. Now we are starting to see the waves come in,” he said. “It’s not that the Carolinas are going to get hit harder. It’s just that they’re getting hit this month. It’s more like a set of waves that will come in versus one huge tsunami.”
State rules can also govern the pace of foreclosure activity. Some states’ court systems require more paperwork be filed, for example.
Nationwide, one in every 563 housing units had a foreclosure filing in October. Foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, were issued on 230,678 homes, according to RealtyTrac.
Even with the increases in foreclosure filings, North Carolina ranks among the states with the lowest number of foreclosures, coming in at No. 34. Filings were issued on 2,939 homes statewide last month.
South Carolina, which saw more than 3,600 foreclosure filings in October, moved up to No. 13 from No. 16 in September.
In North Carolina, Guilford County had the highest foreclosure activity – with one out of every 549 houses having a foreclosure filing. Mecklenburg County had the third-highest activity – with one in every 632 houses having a foreclosure filing.
In South Carolina, Dorchester County had the most filings followed by York County, where one out of every 319 homes had a filing.