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Foreclosure Indicators on the Rise

The first-quarter of 2010 saw a 60 percent jump in pending litigation filings for foreclosure compared to the same quarter last year. The five completed foreclosures mark 2010 as the worst first quarter for borrowers since Town Clerk Patricia Strauss started keeping a running tally in 2007.

“If people ask I want to have some information for them,” Strauss said. Strauss began keeping a record of the number of foreclosures as the topic became more and more of a hot-button issue. She said she was curious and it was always good to have something on hand when people have questions.

Lis pendens, or notices of pending litigation, jumped from 55 in 2008 to 122 in 2009. The filings for 2010 already outpace the 2009 numbers. Lis pendens serve as an intent to enter foreclosure proceedings if arrangements are not made within a year of issuance. Typically only a portion resolve to foreclosure.

Strauss said, “You file a 'lizzy' when the bank isn't happy about a mortgage.”

The worst quarter in Strauss's record was the third-quarter in 2008, with six foreclosures.

Occassionally people ask Strauss for a list of foreclosed properties. While her tally sheet only records the number of foreclosures and lis pendens, inquisitive parties do have an option if they are willing to do the legwork. All property records for the past 90 days can be easily searched from the clerk's office or the town website .

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