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Ohio #4 for owner-vacated foreclosures

Jay Hanselman

A new report released Thursday from RealtyTrac finds Ohio fourth on the list among owners who had vacated 167,680 foreclosure properties nationwide. Vacant foreclosures represent 20 percent of all U.S. properties in the foreclosure process.

Florida was first with 55,503, or 33%. Illinois posted the second highest total (17,672), followed by California (9,802), Ohio (9,723), and New York (9,173).  The tenth largest metro area for vacant foreclosures was the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area.

  • Indiana was among states where the percentage of owner-vacated foreclosures was above the national average of 20 percent (32%).
  • Among the five services involved in the national mortgage settlement, Bank of America and GMAC (Ally) had the highest percentage of owner-vacated foreclosures with 23%, followed by Chase with 21% and Wells Fargo and Citi tied with 20%.
  • Vacancy rates were higher on lower-end foreclosures: 29% on homes valued below $50,000 and 25% on homes valued between $50,000 and $100,000. Twelve percent of homes valued $1 million or more were vacant.

Vice President of RealtyTrac Daren Blomquist says, "Somewhat ironically, efforts to slow the slide of the housing market in previous years are now hampering a smooth recovery by holding back inventory of homes that almost certainly must sell in the future but are not yet listed for sale."

In April Blomquist talked to WVXU and said One reason Ohio is slow to recover is the state employs what is called a judicial foreclosure process where every foreclosure is a court case reviewed by an individual judge. This makes it more susceptible to delays. But it may be also be better for homeowners where precautions are taken to make sure they aren't being improperly foreclosed upon.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.