The number of foreclosure filings in Ohio dropped in 2012, but one research group says foreclosures remain a major problem.
Ohio had 70,469 new properties enter foreclosure in 2012, down 1.5 percent from 2011 and 17.6 percent from the number of cases brought against property owners in 2010, according to Supreme Court of Ohio statistics.
Foreclosure filings in Ohio peaked at 89,061 in 2009.
Statewide foreclosure filings increased 14 consecutive years through 2009 before dropping in 2010, according to Court News Ohio, a court system news service.
However, the foreclosure rate is still four times what it was in 1995, according to analysis by the group Policy Matters Ohio. Policy Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. The nonprofit studies public policy issues.
"The economy cannot recover with 70,000 new foreclosure filings a year," said David Rothstein, Policy Matters project director for asset building, and author of the group's annual foreclosure report "Housing Insecurity" released in May.
"It's so divided by zip code and area by where things are getting better and things are staying the same," Rothstein said.
Thirty-five of Ohio's 88 counties reported more foreclosures in 2012 than in 2011, Court News Ohio said.
In Huron County, Clerk of Courts Susan Hazel said recently she is hopeful things will get better.
"I'm hoping we're improving at this point," Hazel said. "So far at the start of this year, we're getting a little bit better, but in our area, it will be a slow change. I'm cautiously optimistic at this point."
Hazel said as of Friday, 101 new foreclosure cases have been filed so far in 2013 in Huron County.
In 2012, 335 new foreclosure cases were filed in Huron County, making up about 31 percent of the office's overall caseload.
In 2011, 303 new foreclosure cases were filed, 27.5 percent of the total cases in the clerk's office that year.
The year 2010 saw 375 new foreclosure cases at the clerk's office, making up 31 percent of the total.
In 2009, there were 414 new cases, while there were 392 in 2008 and 423 in 2007.
Hazel said 2007 had the most new filings.
"In 1995, there were only 30 new foreclosure filings in Huron County," Hazel said. "That was out of 908 total cases. The foreclosures counted for 3 percent of the total."
By Chelsey Levingston - Dayton Daily News (Distributed by MCT)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Reflector Staff Writer Scott Seitz contributed to this story.