RealtyTrac Releases January Foreclosure Filing Data

by devteam February 10th, 2011 | Share

January mayrnhave been the beginning of a new year, but some things never change. Americarnremains in the throes of a foreclosure epidemic for the fourth straight year.  </p

There was a foreclosure filing of some typernon 261,333 U.S. properties in January, but while the numbers were stillrnstaggering, there were some encouraging signs.  Total foreclosure filings are now well below their peak levels and overall foreclosurernactivity was down 17 percent from January of 2010, even though it was up 1rnpercent over the December numbers.   </p

Therninformation comes from RealtyTrac’s January U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, arnmonthly compilation of data from the Irvine California firm which tracksrndocuments 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

    Thern261,000+ filings spread across these categories represent one for every 497rnhousing units.  </p

    Default notices, NOD orrnLIS were received for a total of 75,198 properties, down one percent sincernDecember and 27 percent from one year earlier. rnThis was the fourth straight month where filings in this categoryrndeclined and the lowest monthly total since July 2007.  </p

    Foreclosure auctions were scheduled on 108,002 properties, the lowestrnmonthly total since February 2009 and a decrease of 4 percent from December andrn13 percent from January 2010.</p

    Perhaps because of the delay caused by the moratorium on foreclosuresrnthat had been imposed by many servicers in the fall, the number of homes thatrnwere foreclosed and taken into bank inventory in January increased by 12 percentrnover December to a total of 78,133 properties, but continuing the pattern ofrnsubstantial year-over-year decreases, were 11 percent lower than in Januaryrn2010. </p

    While we viewed the numbers as a positive sign, RealtyTrac sees it in arndifferent light.  According to James J.rnSaccacio, chief executive officer, “We’ve now seen three straight months withrnfewer than 300,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings, following 20rnstraight months where the total exceeded 300,000.  “Unfortunately this is less a sign of a robustrnhousing recovery and more a sign that lenders have become bogged down inrnreviewing procedures, resubmitting paperwork and formulating legal argumentsrnrelated to accusations of improper foreclosure processing.”</p

     For the 49th straight month Nevada had the highestrnforeclosure rate in the nation, driven by bank repossessions which increased 16rnpercent from December.  The numbers ofrndefault notices and scheduled auctions decreased but one in every 93 housingrnunits in the state received a foreclosure filing in January, five times thernnational  average.  Foreclosure activity was up 16 percent inrnArizona, again driven by bank repossessions which increased 54 percent fromrnDecember.  One in every 175 housing unitsrnin Arizona received a filing in January. rnCalifornia also saw a substantial increase in REO activity, up 32rnpercent.  One in every 200 houses was thernsubject of a foreclosure filing.  rnThe two remaining states in the top five were Idaho and Utah with one inrnevery 241 and one in every 265 housing units receiving a filing respectively.

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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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