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Survey: State's foreclosures soared in 2010

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Although Mississippi has avoided the crux of the national housing crisis, the number of properties targeted by foreclosure filings in 2010 jumped more than twofold from two years ago, a national tracking firm said today.

In addition, foreclosure action picked up in the state during the latter portion of the year.

Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac said 5,280 properties received some type of foreclosure filing last year, ranging from an initial notice of default to outright seizure and sale by a lending institution. That was up 130 percent from 2008, but a slight drop of 2.3 percent from 2009.

One in every 240 housing units in Mississippi received some kind of notice last year, ranking the state 45th in the nation — and in another league entirely from the foreclosure hotbeds of California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan.

Those five states accounted for half of the record 3.82 million foreclosure filings nationwide last year, RealtyTrac said.

Nationally, one in every 45 housing units received a filing last year.

But RealtyTrac chief executive James Saccacio said last year’s tally would have been even higher if some lending institutions had not stopped foreclosure proceedings because of legal questions.

Foreclosure filings dropped 26 percent nationwide last month as compared with Dec. 2009 and 1.75 percent from Nov. 2010. In Mississippi, the number accelerated by 68 percent from Dec. 2009 and 138 percent from Nov. 2010.

Of the 1,024 actions in Mississippi last month, 766 properties were seized. Those notices affected one in every 1,238 properties, ranking Mississippi 34th in the United States.

During the fourth quarter, there were 1,908 foreclosure filings in Mississippi, including 1,113 seizures and sales, RealtyTrac said. That was up 37 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009 and 33 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

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