Bank and mortgage foreclosure activity in Harris County continued to slide downward in March.
Trustees posted only 1,033 properties for the March 7 foreclosure auction, compared to last month's 1,171, a reduction of 11 percent, according to the Foreclosure Information & Listing Service Inc.
The decline was even more dramatic when compared to March 2005, when 1,760 properties were posted for foreclosure.
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Trustees expect this "artificial" decline to continue for several months because the department of Housing and Urban Development and mortgage lender Freddie Mac have introduced an extended moratorium on property sales, similar to the just-expired Federal Emergency Management Agency sale ban. The sale ban is in effect if a property has not been inspected, presumably for hurricane damage.
For the short term, many homeowners in default on government-insured mortgages will continue to have their day of reckoning postponed, with some trustees predicting late summer before the restrictions are lifted, according to the Foreclosure Ledger, a newsletter released by the Foreclosure Information & Listing Service.