RealtyTrac: Evictions Ease Following Foreclosure Moratoriums. New Defaults Trending Lower

by devteam December 16th, 2010 | Share

Foreclosure activity took arnnosedive in November, reflecting both an expected seasonal lull and foreclosurernmoratoriums that were imposed by several of the major servicers.</p

RealtyTrac reports thatrnforeclosure filings in November dropped 21 percent vs. filings in October. This is a 14 percent decline from November 2009. rn A total of 262,339 U.S. properties,rnone in every 492 housing units, were the subject of a foreclosure filing duringrnthe month.  Both the 21 percentrnmonth-over-month decrease and 14 percent year-over-year decrease in foreclosurernactivity were the largest drop offs recorded since RealtyTrac began publishing itsrnfigures in January 2005.</p

RealtyTrac, an Irvine Californiarncompany, compiles a U.S. Foreclosure Market Report each month by trackingrndocuments filed in all three stages of foreclosure:</p<ol

  • Notice ofrnDefault (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS). This is the first legal notification from arnlender that the borrower on a mortgage loan has defaulted under the terms ofrntheir mortgage and the lender intends to foreclose unless the loan is broughtrncurrent.</li
  • Auction – Noticernof Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS): if the borrower does notrncatch up on their payments the lender will file a notice of sale (the lenderrnintends to sell the property). This notice is published in local paper andrncontains information pertaining to the date, time and subject property address.</li
  • Real EstaternOwned or REO properties : “REO” stands for “real estate owned” andrntypically refers to the inventory of real estate that banks and mortgagerncompanies have foreclosed on and subsequently purchased through the foreclosurernauction if there was no offer higher than the minimum bid.</li</ol

    Several servicers stoppedrnforeclosures in early October when they discovered that inappropriaternprocedures were being used in some states with the judicial form of foreclosurernwhich requires court approval.  Thernproblems involved so-called robo-signing, the mass processing of requiredrnaffidavits without check for proper underlying documentation. Only 23 statesrnwere initially involved but some servicers ultimately stopped the processrnnationwide.  In most cases this directlyrnaffected the later stages of foreclosure, but filings in November were downrnacross the board.</p

    In the earliest stage ofrnthe foreclosure process, initial default notices – NOD or LIS – were filed on arntotal of 78,955 properties.  This was arndecrease of 21 percent from October and 31 percent less than the level one yearrnearlier.  November was the 10thrnstraight month that the numbers of default notices has fallen and the total wasrnthe lowest since July 2007.  In judicialrnforeclosure states default notices were 31 percent lower than in October and 43rnpercent below levels a year earlier.  Inrnnon-judicial states the decreases were 9 and 12 percent respectively.</p

    Auctions were scheduled forrnthe first time on 115,956 properties, down 16 percent from October andrnunchanged from one year earlier.  Inrnjudicial states there were 34 percent fewer auctions scheduled than in thernprevious month and 12 percent less than one year earlier.  In non-judicial states there was arnmonth-to-month drop of 7 percent but scheduled auctions were up 5 percent sincernNovember 2009.</p

    Actual foreclosures werernconducted on 67,428 properties, the fewest since May 2009.  This was 28 percent below the October levelrnand 12 percent fewer than in November 2009. rnForeclosures this year already total 980,000, above the record high 2009rntotal. </p

    “Foreclosure activityrndecreased dramatically in November, with fewer than 300,000 propertiesrnreceiving a foreclosure notice for the first time since February 2009,” saidrnJames J. Saccacio, chief executive officer at RealtyTrac. “While part of therndecrease can be attributed to a seasonal drop of 7 to 10 percent that typicallyrnoccurs in November, fallout from the foreclosure robo-signing controversyrnforced lenders and servicers to hit the pause button on many foreclosures whilernthey scrambled to revamp their internal procedures and revise or resubmitrnquestionable paperwork.” </p

    As usual, Nevada had thernhighest foreclosure rate in the country. rnActivity decreased 20 percent during the month (Nevada is a non-judicialrnstate) but one in every 99 housing units in the state received a foreclosurernfiling during the month.  This is the 47thrnstraight month that Nevada has led the nation in foreclosure activity.</p

    Arizona, Florida,rnCalifornia, and Michigan which have also been among the top five states inrnforeclosure activity for many months all dropped from October totals while Utah,rna state where both forms of foreclosure are used, jumped from sixth ranked tornsecond in a month with an increase in filings of over 17 percent.  One of every 221 housing units in the staternreceived a foreclosure filing in November. rn</p

    California, another non-judicialrnstate, had a decrease of 14 percent from October and was down 22 percent fromrnthe year before but still ranked third nationwide with one in every 233 housesrnreceiving a filing.  California, withrn57,378 filings, accounted for 22rnpercent of the total filings in the nation. </p

    Activity in Arizona wherernboth judicial and non-judicial foreclosures are used decreased dramatically inrnNovember.  Filings were down 37 percentrnfrom October levels and 28 percent year-over-year.  The state long ranked second or third, is nowrnfourth with filings on one in every 262 households.  </p

    The remaining states in therntop ten in foreclosure activity were Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Idaho,rnIllinois, and Colorado.

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  • About the Author


    Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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