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Foreclosure activity drops in July, but levels remain high

Fewer homeowners in the area had new foreclosure cases filed against them in July than the same month a year ago, based on statistics from area clerks of courts.

More than 200 cases were filed last month in Butler County, 56 cases in Greene County, 36 in Miami County, 299 in Montgomery County, 18 in Preble County and 89 in Warren County, according to officials with the respective clerks’ offices. That’s a total 700 foreclosures for all six counties, compared to 800 July 2011, a 12.5 percent drop.

These are filings of initial complaints by lenders against delinquent mortgage payers.

The same counts weren’t immediately available for Clark and Champaign counties, but RealtyTrac Inc. said today the number of July filings for default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions were 115 in Clark and zero in Champaign.

Foreclosure filings year-to-date are still higher than they were in the same seven-month period of 2011. So far this year, 1,518 total cases have been filed in Butler County, 461 in Greene, 311 in Miami, 2,460 in Montgomery and 182 in Preble. Only Warren County saw fewer foreclosures with 701 cases filed so far this year compared to 722 through July of last year, according to Clerk James Spaeth.

“Unfortunately from my perspective, there’s still a lot of people struggling with foreclosure,” said Tom Kendo, an area real estate attorney. “Most of what I see is either job loss or just reduction in income. They can’t afford to make the payments anymore.”

July foreclosure activity gave Ohio the eighth highest foreclosure rate in the country, according to the new monthly report released by RealtyTrac. More than 9,700 foreclosure-related filings were made, impacting one in every 528 homes in the state, RealtyTrac said.

“U.S. foreclosure activity continued its uneven descent in July as the overall numbers declined on an annual basis for the 22nd straight month, but properties starting the foreclosure process increased on an annual basis for the third straight month,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac spokesman, in a statemen. “Recent foreclosure activity patterns vary significantly from state to state, often hinging on the level of dysfunction that exists in each state’s foreclosure process.”

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