Pre-Foreclosure Notices Jump 8% in 2010

More than 70,000 Minnesotans were behind on their mortgage payments in 2010, up 8 percent from 2009.

The housing market isn't out of the woods yet as pre-foreclosure rates jumped 8 percent last year, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Home Ownership Center.

According to the report, 71,665 Minnesotans received pre-foreclosure notices in 2010, up 8 percent from 2009 when 66,570 received notices. Pre-foreclosure notices are issued to homeowners who are behind on their mortgage, but do not necessarily mean that the home will be foreclosed unless the owner continues to not make payments.

In the Twin Cities metro area, 1,334 pre-foreclosure notices were issued in 2010, representing a 3 percent increase from 2009.

Greater Minnesota fared even worse as 28,522 households received pre-foreclosure notices in 2010-an increase of 3,761 households, or 15 percent.

Statewide, the pre-foreclosure notices were issued pretty evenly throughout the year: 18,421 in the first quarter, 17,001 in the second quarter, 18,982 in the third quarter, and 17,270 in the fourth quarter.

“While we are seeing signs that the housing market may be stabilizing, these numbers show that Minnesota is not out of the woods yet and that tens of thousands of Minnesota families are still facing their own personal foreclosure crisis,” Ed Nelson, marketing and communications manager for the Minnesota Home Ownership Center, said in a statement. “On a brighter note, the rate of increase has slowed-and in the Twin Cities, the trend has almost leveled off. Whether this signals a possible decline in pre-foreclosure notices to be received in 2011 remains to be seen.”

Fourth-quarter and full-year foreclosure data is not yet available, but Minnesota's third-quarter foreclosure rate increased 5.56 percent from the second quarter, with 9,499 homes receiving a foreclosure filing, according to a report released in October by RealtyTrac, Inc., a firm that runs an online real estate database.

Although Minnesota's third-quarter rate was up more than 5 percent from the second quarter, it was down 10.6 percent from the third quarter of 2009.