Foreclosure Filings Continue to Retreat in SE Wisconsin

New mortgage foreclosure cases in southeastern Wisconsin continued at their slowest pace in more than a decade during the first three quarters of 2016.

Court records show there were 3,111 foreclosure filings in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties through September. That was down almost 20% from 3,880 for the seven-county region in the same period in 2015.

Two counties — Washington and Waukesha — posted their lowest totals for the month of September since at least 2005, at 12 and 29, respectively.

Milwaukee County, which was averaging about 600 foreclosure filings a month during the peak of the foreclosure crisis in 2009, had 190 filings this September.

Although rising local home prices still haven't returned to pre-Great Recession levels in most parts of southeastern Wisconsin, the much-lower number of foreclosures reflects the housing market's recovery and an improved jobs situation in the area. At the height of the mortgage foreclosure crisis seven years ago, the region had three times the number of filings it has today, court records show.

In a separate report, the property data firm CoreLogic said that in August, only 0.5% of homes with a mortgage in Wisconsin were in some stage of foreclosure. That compared with 0.9% nationally, which was the lowest foreclosure inventory rate in the U.S. since July 2007, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based firm.

CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft said "the large decline in the distressed inventory has been one of the drivers of steady home price growth."

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