Foreclosures spiked before robo-signing scandal

Report tracks foreclosures, loan mods

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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.