WASHINGTON Jan 13 Banks seized more than a
million U.S. homes in one year for the first time last year,
despite a slowdown in the last few months as questions around
foreclosure processing arose, a leading firm said on
Banks foreclosed on 69,847 properties in December,
bringing the year's total to 1.05 million, topping the prior
record of 918,000 homes seized in 2009, real estate data firm
The number of foreclosure filings, which includes default
notices, auctions and repossessions, was a record 2.9 million
last year, including 257,747 filings in December.
"Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have
easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the
fourth-quarter drop in foreclosure activity -- triggered
primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding
foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many
major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure
proceedings," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer
"Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record
high for our report, and many of the foreclosure proceedings
that were stopped in late 2010,-which we estimate may be as
high as a quarter million, will likely be re-started and add
to the numbers in early 2011," Saccacio said.
December filings were 2 percent lower than November and 26
percent lower than December 2009.
The firm said Nevada, Arizona and Florida continued to
post the highest foreclosure rates in the country.
And just five states -- California, Florida, Arizona,
Illinois and Michigan -- accounted for more than half of all
One in every 11 housing units in Nevada received at least
one foreclosure filing in 2010, more than four times the
In 2005, before the housing bust, banks took over just
about 100,000 houses, according to the Irvine,
(Reporting by Corbett B. Daly; Editing by Jan Paschal )