Friday, December 17, 2004

January foreclosures down slightly




Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Tarrant County will ring in the new year with a dip in residential foreclosures, according to figures the Foreclosure Listing Service released Thursday.

Tarrant County has 849 homes slated for foreclosure Jan. 4, 2005, down 13 percent from last January, when postings hit 974, one of the highest numbers in a decade.

Dallas, Denton and Collin counties had similar declines. There are 2,733 homes up for foreclosure in the four counties, down 9 percent from this January.

That might sound like good news.

But "I don't know that you can give a lot of credence to the downturn," said George Roddy Sr., president of the Foreclosure Listing Service. "If you look at the actual numbers for the total year in Tarrant County, they were up 12 percent over 2003."

Jim Brown of All-American Title Services agrees that the January numbers are not a sign of more good news.

"I wish there was, but it's still fairly consistent," said Brown, who compiles a foreclosure list for Tarrant County.

He said foreclosures could run as high as 1,150 postings in some months next year.

The January 2005 postings for North Texas are 21 percent higher than in January 2003 and 80 percent more than in January 2002, according to Foreclosure Listing Service figures.

The number of mortgage payment delinquencies declined slightly in the third quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's assessment this month.

A significant rise in interest rates could put more people on the foreclosure list, Roddy said. Primarily, these could be people who have mortgages where the monthly payment is tied to the interest rate.

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