Pre-foreclosure notices climbed in Minnesota over the first six months of the year.
Under state law, lenders must provide homeowners early warning about delinquent mortgage payments -- a pre-foreclosure notice. The lenders must also refer those homeowners to approved foreclosure prevention counseling agencies.
Data collected by the Minnesota Home Ownership Center's affiliates show a 17 percent increase in pre-foreclosure notices between the first half of 2009 and the first half of this year.
The numbers are not perfect predictors of foreclosures to come.
Prentiss Cox, a housing expert at the University of Minnesota, said the pre-foreclosure notice numbers do not surprise him. He said they suggest the market has plateaued at a high level.
"It just tells us we have a continued difficult problem," Cox said. "It doesn't suggest that we're about to skyrocket up in foreclosures and see another doubling, as we saw from 05-06, 06-07, 07-08, when foreclosures were rising at an astronomic level."
However, Cox does not anticipate foreclosure levels climbing beyond their 2008 peak.