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'Qualified mortgage' regulations, which take effect in January, also would've prevented 25 percent of loans that haven't defaulted.
A recent report from RealtyTrac showed that sales of distressed homes increased in September compared with one year ago. But the data is contradicted by other sources.
A 35 percent drop in completed foreclosures in August may be encouraging, as 'shadow inventory' hits lowest level in 5 years.
The rules are designed to make it easier for homeowners to negotiate alternatives to foreclosure. The challenge will be getting loan servicers to comply.
New foreclosures are down 44% from this time last year, but the numbers aren't falling in all areas. In 17 states, foreclosure starts rose.
Illinois sues property-management firm hired by lenders, saying it stole homeowners' property and illegally locked them out of their homes.
Of U.S. homeowners with mortgages, 23.8% owe more than their home is worth, but 41.9% have less than 20% equity.
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