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Foreclosure filings up in half of US states in 2012

Lenders clearing backlogs after robo-signing settlement

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Half of U.S. states saw an annual increase in the number of foreclosure-related filings in 2012, but most of those were judicial foreclosure states where loan servicers were catching up on the backlog from the "robo-signing" controversy, according to a year-end report by data aggregator RealtyTrac.All told, RealtyTrac reported foreclosure-related filings against 1.84 million U.S. properties in 2012, down 3 percent from 2011 and down 36 percent from a 2010 peak of 2.9 million homes.All but five of the 25 states seeing an increase in foreclosure-related filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions) were states where courts handle most foreclosure proceedings.Many foreclosure proceedings against homeowners in those states were stalled, but not derailed, by allegations that loan servicers failed to follow proper procedures in filing legal documents. After loan servicers reached a settlement last March with state and federal officials last over so-called &qu...