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Thursday, July 24, 2014         

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State foreclosure rate easing

But an attorney warns against optimism as the total number of June filings rises from the previous year

By Andrew Gomes

POSTED:


Foreclosure proceedings against Hawaii properties continued to rise in June from the same month last year, according to the latest industry report.

There were 1,000 properties statewide in some stage of foreclosure last month, up 42 percent from a year earlier, according to data from real estate research firm RealtyTrac.

Despite the increase, the volume was the second-lowest for any month this year after 972 filings in February, and was the second-lowest rate of increase on a year-over-year basis after a 29 percent rise in May.

However, one local attorney handling foreclosure cases warns that the seeming bright spots don't foretell any near-term reduction in new foreclosure cases.

"I think it's way too early to be optimistic at all," said David Rosen.

The rate of growth in foreclosure filings appeared to ease up in recent months following a record that was set in December at 1,534 filings.

But Rosen believes the easing is due to lenders hitting their capacity for initiating new cases. Rosen also expects to see another wave of cases as lenders increase staffing to handle more foreclosures and work through backlogs.

"There's definitely no slowdown in defaults," he said.

Compared with other states, Hawaii's foreclosure rate of one filing per 513 households was 15th worst, meaning 35 other states had lower rates, according to California-based RealtyTrac.

The national rate was one filing for every 411 households. Nationally, the total number of foreclosure filings declined 7 percent from June 2009.

Nevada had the worst rate at one filing per 88 households, and Vermont had the best rate at one filing per 26,051 households.

By county in Hawaii, Honolulu had the most filings at 342, but it had the lowest rate, at one filing for every 986 households.

Kauai had the next-lowest rate at one filing per 505 households, based on 59 total filings.

On Maui, the rate was one filing per 245 households, or 270 total filings.

The Big Island's rate was only slightly worse than Maui's, at one filing per 242 households, or 329 filings in all.






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