Minnesota foreclosures drop to lowest level since 2006, report says

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New data from the Minnesota Homeownership Center shows there were nearly 18,000 homes lost to foreclosure in the state last year, the Star Tribune reports. That's down 16 percent from the year before and the lowest level since 2006, but it's still three times higher than in 2005.

The newspaper notes the biggest reduction in the number of foreclosures was in the Twins Cities metro area, where repossessions were down 19 percent.

“We continue to see improvement in the housing market and we know that our foreclosure prevention efforts in Minnesota, combined with improvements in how banks and lenders deal with struggling homeowners are having a positive impact on the number of foreclosures,” Julie Gugin, executive eirector of the Minnesota Homeownership Center, said in a news release. “While we’re certainly moving in the right direction, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the number is still three times higher than it was before the crisis began. ”

"Some of these areas — Isanti, Sherburne, Mille Lacs County, Pine County — continue to struggle in their recovery of their economic base," Ed Nelson, the center's spokesman, told Minnesota Public Radio. "That's one of the reasons they have a higher foreclosure rate."

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