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Pre-foreclosure Filings Climb 33 Percent in Metro Phoenix

More Phoenix-area homeowners are falling behind on their mortgages or “walking away” from them. The number of pre-foreclosures in the region jumped 33 percent in July. Last month, there were 7,804 notice of trustee sales, or pre-foreclosure filings, according to real estate research firm Information Market. That compares to 5,833 in June. July's figure signals the biggest month jump for new foreclosure filings in more than a year. The recent increase in pre-foreclosures could be due partially to homeowners, who are illegal residents, walking away from their houses and mortgage payments due to concerns over Arizona's immigration law. Actual foreclosures or trustee sale filings climbed as well in July but not by nearly as much as pre-foreclosures. Lenders foreclosed on 4,651 metropolitan Phoenix homes last month, compared to 4,584 in June. It typically takes a four to six months for an increase in pre-foreclosures to translate to an increase in foreclosures in Phoenix. The federal home loan modification program has worked to slow foreclosures, though not as much as housing advocates had hoped. Any pre-foreclosures filed against homeowners who have walked away or left the state will end up as foreclosures. Already, the recent increase in foreclosure filings is putting pressure on Phoenix-area home prices.

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