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‘Zombie’ foreclosures fall 32% in Charlotte

The Charlotte region had 778 “zombie” foreclosures in the second quarter, down 32 percent from a year ago, according to a report that tracks homes vacated by their owners before a foreclosure is completed.

Nationwide, there were 141,406 zombie foreclosures in the second quarter, a decline of 16 percent from a year ago, according to the report Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

A decline in zombie foreclosures is good news for surrounding properties, whose values can be affected as abandoned properties languish, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

The declines come as U.S. foreclosure activity overall continues to fall amid rising home prices and an improving housing market. According to a separate report earlier this month by RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings in May fell to their lowest monthly level since December 2006.

“Generally speaking, the housing market is improving ... so fewer properties (are) entering the foreclosure pool,” Blomquist told the Observer.

Nationwide, the number of properties on which lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings skyrocketed during the housing downturn as property values fell and jobs were lost. As foreclosure processes dragged on, some homeowners walked away from their properties before they officially lost them.

North Carolina posted a 17 percent increase in zombie foreclosures in the second quarter from the first. It was one of 25 states to post a month-over-month increase.

Blomquist said the increase in North Carolina is probably from banks starting foreclosure proceedings on abandoned homes.

Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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