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Lenders push to clear foreclosure backlogs

Banks are trying to capitalize on rising home prices by selling homes seized via foreclosure at a faster pace.

States with some of the largest backlogs of foreclosures are seeing an upswing in properties that are moving to auction for quicker sales since last July, according to RealtyTrac.

“Lenders know there’s now a much better chance they can get those properties sold, so they’re moving to do that,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Back when buyers were on the sidelines and prices were still falling, lenders’ had little incentive to speed up the foreclosure process. Doing so would only add to the large amount of empty houses that needed to be maintained. But now that prices are rising in most markets, the backlog of bank-owned homes is being trimmed quickly. With tight inventories of homes for-sale in many cities, banks are seeing opportunity in getting repossessed homes back on the market faster for a quick sale, analysts say.

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