Still, foreclosure activity continued to spike in so-called "judicial states" such as Florida and New Jersey, where banks need to win court approval before proceeding to foreclose upon a borrower. Such states have tougher borrower protection laws that have slowed down the foreclosure process, but not halted it. A growing backlog of foreclosures has resulted from exceedingly long processing timelines as banks continue to work their way through a mountain of problem loans that has overwhelmed the courts.. But the "pig is moving through the python" when it comes to deferred foreclosures in these states, says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Foreclosure starts have been increasing for several months in many of the judicial states, and now that increased volume is showing up in the second stage of the process: the public foreclosure auction. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in judicial states jumped to a 30-month high in April, evidence that lenders are serious about moving forward with completing the foreclosure process -- either through repossession or sale to a third party investor at public auction," he said in a statement. Foreclosures are also bouncing higher in other states which have enacted new foreclosure laws to protect borrowers in the wake of the robo-signing scandal. The tougher standards initially resulted in a decline in foreclosure filings, but they are now beginning to resume their upward trend. Scheduled judicial foreclosure auctions increased 22% from March to April and were up 31% from a year ago to the highest level since October 2010 -- a 30-month high.
-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York. >Contact by Email. Follow @shavenk