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Nearly 307,000 households, or one in every 417 homes, received a foreclosure-related notice in November, down 8 percent from a month earlier, RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday. Banks repossessed about 77,000 homes last month, down slightly from October.
Nationwide, a report Wednesday showed only about 10,000 homeowners received permanent loan modifications this fall under the Obama administration's mortgage relief plan, more evidence of serious failings in the government's effort
Elizabeth Warren, chair of a watchdog panel, told reporters that the program is "not working" and that it had failed to make a dent in the record level of foreclosures. More than 14 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are either late on their payments or in foreclosure, and that number is expected to keep rising as unemployment remains stubbornly high.
The Treasury Department is expected to release updated figures Thursday, but data through October showed that fewer than 5 percent of homeowners who completed the trial periods had their mortgage payments permanently lowered to more affordable levels
Among cities, Merced, Calif. had the highest rate, with one in 83 homes receiving a foreclosure filing. It was followed by fellow California cities Stockton and Modesto, and Cape-Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
"We're starting to get a little bit of a turnaround, things are stabilizing," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities (WFC) in Charlotte, North Carolina. "People aren't in a panic in terms of selling their homes."
U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index extending its biggest annual rally since 2003. The S&P 500 added 0.2 percent to 1,129.50 as of 10:20 a.m. in New York, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to 10,575.34.