The pace of pending foreclosures remained high in January with more than 103,000 foreclosure notices filed, adding to the nearly one million filings reported during 2006. According to data released today by ForeclosureS.com, nearly every region in the U.S. is facing the prospect of increasing foreclosures, but no region has been more impacted than the Southwest. Just one month into the first quarter of 2007, already 50,404 foreclosure filings have been reported in the Southwest — more than half the 94,631 filings for the region during the entire first quarter of 2006. In spite of the bleak numbers, ForeclosureS.com president Alexis McGee can see better days ahead for both troubled homeowners as well as the mortgage banking industry. â€œAs I’ve said before, the worst is over,â€? said McGee. â€œBut we’re not through yet with the after-effects of all the people who used creative financing to buy homes beyond their means. As home prices have stagnated, equity eroded, and mortgage payments adjusted higher, these homeowners have little other option to foreclosure.â€? In the Southwest, California (25,107), Texas (10,296) and Colorado (4,968) continue to rank in the top 5 nationally for foreclosure filings, although Colorado’s rate is trending downward compared to the first quarter of last year, McGee said. Fueled by job cuts and layoffs in major manufacturing metropolitan areas, the Midwestern region reported 18,207 foreclosure filings in January, with Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan, leading the way.
Cook County, Illinois (including Chicago) accounted for well more than half of that state’s 5,849 foreclosure filings. Lucas County, Ohio, which includes Toledo and Bowling Green, accounted for nearly half that state’s 3,898 filings. And in Michigan, Wayne County, which includes Detroit, along with its wealthy northern suburb county, Oakland, accounted for more than half of all that state’s 3,484 foreclosure filings for the month. The nation’s Southeast region continued to hemorrhage foreclosure filings last month, with Florida being the hardest hit. Nearly 11,500 Florida property owners filed for foreclosure in January, accounting for just over half of the entire Southeast Region’s 20,199 filings. Adding to the dismal numbers, with only one month elapsed in the quarter, already the regional total is almost half of the 46,933 filings reported for all of the first quarter 2006. In the Northeast, foreclosures continued to mount, with the region recording 12,220 foreclosures. That compares with 18,813 filings for the entire first quarter 2006. If the pace continues unabated for the rest of the year, the region could see a more than 50 percent increase in foreclosure filings by year’s end. Massachusetts, with 4,153 filings across the state, overtook New York (3,062) and New Jersey (2,887) for the dubious honor of the most foreclosures in the region. For more information, visit http://www.foreclosures.com.