Mortgage foreclosure filings in July were about 35% lower than in the same month a year ago in southeast Wisconsin, extending a trend that has helped keep a general recovery in housing on course.
Court records show there were 581 filings in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties last month, compared with 896 in July of 2012. It was the lowest July total since before the housing slump and recession occurred.
Through the first seven months of 2013, mortgage foreclosure filings were down about 37% in the region, to 4,288 from 6,797 during the same span last year.
However, the 581 filings recorded in July were the most for one month since March of this year, when there were 636 filings.
The July filings decreased in all seven counties in southeast Wisconsin.
While bank-owned foreclosures have dropped, the City of Milwaukee is facing an increase in city-owned tax foreclosures. To date, the city holds title to well over 900 properties, with the prospect of several hundred more properties going into tax foreclosure by the end of the year.
The Common Council has taken steps to help homeowners avoid tax foreclosure. Specifically, homeowners have been given more time to pay back special charges owed to the city. The old policy required strapped homeowners to pay back the special charges in full.