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Ohio foreclosures still a major problem

The number of foreclosure filings in Ohio dropped in 2012, but one research group says foreclosures remain a major problem.

Ohio had 70,469 new properties enter foreclosure in 2012, down 1.5 percent from 2011 and 17.6 percent from the number of cases brought against property owners in 2010, according to Supreme Court of Ohio statistics.

Foreclosure filings in Ohio peaked at 89,061 in 2009.

Statewide foreclosure filings increased 14 consecutive years through 2009 before dropping in 2010, according to Court News Ohio, a court system news service.

However, the foreclosure rate is still four times what it was in 1995, according to analysis by the group Policy Matters Ohio. Policy Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. The nonprofit studies public policy issues.

“The economy cannot recover with 70,000 new foreclosure filings a year,” said David Rothstein, Policy Matters project director for asset building, and author of the group’s annual foreclosure report “Housing Insecurity” released in May.

“It’s so divided by zip code and area by where things are getting better and things are staying the same,” Rothstein said.

Thirty-five 35 of Ohio’s 88 counties reported more foreclosures in 2012 than in 2011, Court News Ohio said.

Champaign and Clark counties saw increases in 2012 of 10 percent and 5 percent respectively, according to state figures.

Throughout Butler, Champaign, Greene, Hamilton, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Warren counties, new foreclosure filings fell in 2012 from the previous year. The declines ranged from 2 percent to 9 percent.

“They are a problem. Anytime a person loses their home, it’s a problem,” Ron Vincent, Clark County clerk of courts, said.

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