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By September 15, 2011 1 Comments Read More →

Foreclosure Activity Falls in 2011 — For Wrong Reasons

Foreclosure activity continues to fall when compared with 2010, but the problem is the same as it has been for nearly a year: There are fewer foreclosures because actions against homeowners have stalled.

In other words, we don’t have fewer foreclosures because the economy is improving, employment levels are materially rising or household incomes are going up. In fact, the latest data from the Census Bureau shows that median household income in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from 2009.

No less significant, the paperwork required to foreclosure continues to be screwed up as a result of robo-signing, situations where lender representatives signed hundreds and sometimes thousands of foreclosure affidavits per day without actually checking to see if such sworn statements were accurate.

Figures from RealtyTrac, the leading source of foreclosure data and listings, show that in August 2011 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 228,098 U.S. properties, a 7 percent increase from July.

However, the August numbers were almost 33 percent below August 2010.

“The big increase in new foreclosure actions may be a signal that lenders are starting to push through some of the foreclosures delayed by robo-signing and other documentation problems,” said James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “It also foreshadows more bank repossessions in the coming months as these new foreclosures make their way through the process.”

Here’s more from RealtyTrac:

Default notices (NOD, LIS) were filed for the first time on a total of 78,880 U.S. properties in August, a nine-month high and a 33 percent increase from July — the biggest month-over-month increase since August 2007. Despite the monthly increase, default notices were still down 18 percent from August 2010 and were 44 percent below the monthly peak of 142,064 default notices in April 2009.

Default notices increased more than 40 percent on a month-over-month basis in several states, including New Jersey (42 percent), Indiana (46 percent) and California (55 percent), but were still down from a year ago in all of those states

Foreclosure auctions (NTS, NFS) were scheduled for 84,405 U.S. properties in August, a decrease of 1 percent from the previous month and a decrease of 43 percent from August 2010. Foreclosure auctions hit a 37-month low in August and were 47 percent below the monthly peak of 158,105 scheduled auctions in March 2010.

Despite the nationwide decrease, scheduled auctions were up substantially from the previous month in several states where the auction notice is the first public notice in the foreclosure process: Oregon (19 percent), Arizona (20 percent), Georgia (22 percent), and Colorado (51 percent). Scheduled auctions were still down from a year ago in all of those states.

Lenders repossessed a total of 64,813 U.S. properties (REOs) in August, a 4 percent decrease from the previous month and a 32 percent decrease from August 2010. The REO total in August marked a six-month low and was 37 percent below the monthly peak of 102,134 bank repossessions in September 2010.

Nevada, California, Arizona post top state foreclosure rates


Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the 56th straight month in August, with one in every 118 housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month. There were a total of 9,677 Nevada properties with foreclosure filings in August, a 3 percent decrease from the previous month and a 28 percent decrease from August 2010.

Nevada’s overall decrease was driven by a 30 percent month-over-month drop in scheduled auctions and a 6 percent month-over-month decrease in REOs. Default notices in Nevada increased 31 percent from July, but were still down 32 percent from August 2010.

A 55 percent month-over-month increase in default notices helped keep California’s foreclosure rate second highest among the states in August. One in every 226 California housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month — more than twice the national average. Scheduled auctions and REOs in California were down on both a monthly and annual basis.

With one in every 248 housing units with a foreclosure filing in August, Arizona posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate for the second month in a row. Scheduled foreclosure auctions in Arizona increased 20 percent from the previous month, but were still down 31 percent from August 2010. Arizona REOs decreased 6 percent from the previous month and were down 36 percent from August 2010.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Colorado and Utah.

Five states account for more than half of U.S. total

Five states accounted for 53 percent of U.S. foreclosure activity in August. Leading the pack was California, where 59,383 properties had foreclosure filings during the month.

Florida posted the second highest state total: 23,569 properties with foreclosure filings in August — an increase of 5 percent from July, but still down 59 percent from August 2010.

Michigan documented 13,016 properties with foreclosure filings in August, the third highest state total, and Illinois documented 12,493 properties with foreclosure filings, the fourth highest total.

Georgia posted the fifth highest state total: 11,743 properties with foreclosure filings in August — an increase of 2 percent from the previous month, but still down 28 percent from August 2010.

Defaults surge in hardest-hit markets

A 30 percent month-over-month increase in default notices helped Las Vegas maintain the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. One in every 103 Las Vegas housing units had a foreclosure filing in August — more than five times the national average.

Stockton, Calif., which ranked No. 4, was the only metro area in the top 10 that did not post a double-digit monthly increase in default notices. Stockton’s default notices increased 7 percent on a month-over-month basis in August after increasing 96 percent on a month-over-month basis in July.

The remainder of the metro areas in the top 10 all posted double-digit percentage increases in defaults from the previous month: Modesto, Calif., at No. 2 (57 percent increase); Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., at No. 3 (68 percent increase); Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., at No. 5 (59 percent increase); Sacramento, Calif., at No. 6 (76 percent increase); Bakersfield, Calif., at No. 7 (44 percent increase); Fresno, Calif., at No. 8 (95 percent increase); Visalia-Porterville, Calif., at No. 9 (97 percent increase); and Reno, Nev., at No. 10 (23 percent increase).

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1 Comment on "Foreclosure Activity Falls in 2011 — For Wrong Reasons"

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  1. lets hope the foreclosure decreases more in the year 2012…time for a serious change already.

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