Foreclosures spiked before robo-signing scandal

Report tracks foreclosures, loan mods

Banks scaled back loan modifications and stepped up foreclosures during the third quarter, with foreclosure starts and completions both up sharply from the previous three months, a new report by banking regulators shows.

During the three months ending Sept. 30 — before the robo-signing controversy was in full swing — the number of foreclosure starts was up 31 percent from the previous quarter, to 383,000. Another 187,000 homes completed the foreclosure process, a 15 percent increase from the second quarter and up 57 percent from a year ago.