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IRVINE, CA-Foreclosure filings were reported on 206,900 US properties in February, down 2% from January and 8% from February 2011. However, that decrease was less than decreases during each of the past 14 months, and 21 states posted annual increases in foreclosures, the most since November 2011, according to the RealtyTrac US Foreclosure Market Report released this morning.

Brandon Moore, CEO of locally based RealtyTrac, said in a statement that February’s numbers point to a gradually rising tide, as some of the barriers that have been holding back foreclosures have been removed. “The foreclosure and mortgage settlement filed in court earlier this week will help pave the way to a properly functioning foreclosure process by providing a clear roadmap for necessary foreclosures,” Moore said. “That should result in more states posting annual increases in the coming months. Not surprisingly, many of the biggest annual increases in February were in states with the more bureaucratic judicial foreclosure process, which resulted in a larger backlog of foreclosures built up over the last 18 months in those states.”

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