Utah Foreclosures Stepped Up, Moved Up State Rank to Fifth

by Donald Hanz on Foreclosures

The pace of Utah foreclosures stepped up in March, making the state fifth in foreclosure rate rankings among all 50 U.S. states during the month and during the first quarter this year.

Total foreclosure postings in March in Utah increased by nearly 23 percent from February to 4,208 filings, also marking a jump of more than 36 percent from March 2009 filings.

In the first quarter, a total of 10,756 foreclosures were posted, marking a 21.2-percent jump from filings in the previous quarter and a whopping 75.1-percent increase from filings in the first quarter last year.

The number of bank foreclosure homes in Utah also increased sharply between the months of February and March, in contrast to the sharp decline in REOs between the months of January and February.

In March, there were 1,269 residential properties that entered bank owned listings, a jump of almost 75 percent from the 726 REOs in February. In contrast, the February REO count marked a sharp 39.25 percent drop from the 1,195 properties that became bank REOs in January.

Utah-based housing analysts contended that the pace of Utah foreclosures increased and made the state move up from its sixth foreclosure rate ranking in February to fifth in March because of the worsening unemployment problem throughout the state.

They reported that the job loss rate in Utah last year was higher than the national average rate. Statewide employment in Utah last year declined by nearly six percent compared to the previous year.

Additionally, analysts said that more Utah homeowners in pre foreclosures could not restore their mortgage accounts to current status because many of them were experiencing higher-than-average financial difficulties. They explained that Utah households are typically larger than the average American household and that they tend to make more charitable donations, adding to their financial burdens.

The number of trustee sale notices in Utah increased month-over-month over the past three months this year. There were 1,575 trustee sale notices in March, marking a jump from 1,355 in February and from 1,135 in January.

The total number of pre foreclosures in the state also increased in March to 2,939 notices, up from 2,704 in February and from 2,892 in January. Total pre foreclosure notices in the first three months reached 8,535.

On the whole in the first quarter, the total number of Utah foreclosures that became bank owned REOs reached 3,127, equivalent to 29.07 percent of all foreclosure postings during the quarter.

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