US foreclosure filings plunge in Nov on bank halts

By Al Yoon

NEW YORK, Dec 16 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. foreclosure filings
plunged in November from the month before as mortgage companies
being scrutinized for court processing errors halted activity,
according to a RealtyTrac report on Thursday.

Homeowners received 262,339 notices of default, auctions
and bank repossessions last month, a drop of 21 percent from
October and the steepest decline since RealtyTrac first
published the statistics in January 2005.

Revelations that loan servicers including GMAC Mortgage and
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: ) had identified problems with court
foreclosure papers spawned a firestorm of criticism over the
companies, which froze processing in some cases. These errors
included submission of affidavits that were improperly reviewed
en masse by so-called robo-signers.

“Fallout from the robo-signing controversy forced lenders
and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures
while they scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and
revise or resubmit questionable paperwork,” James Saccacio,
chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a statement.

Barbara Desoer, Bank of America’s mortgage chief, on
Wednesday said the foreclosure process would regain speed in
January. The bank, the largest U.S. servicer, last week began
refiling documents on 16,000 foreclosure cases in 23 states.

Some of the decrease in foreclosure filings could also be
attributed to a seasonal drop of 7 to 10 percent that typically
occurs in November, Saccacio said.
(Additional reporting by Joe Rauch in Charlotte; Editing by
James Dalgleish)

US foreclosure filings plunge in Nov on bank halts