Foreclosure filings at 3-year low
Robo-signing impacts seen as factor in 27% annual decline
By Inman News, Thursday, March 10, 2011.
Foreclosure-related filings against U.S. homes fell 14 percent from January to February and were down 27 percent from a year ago — the biggest year-over-year drop recorded by data aggregator RealtyTrac since it began issuing reports in 2005.
RealtyTrac said 225,101 homes were subjected to a default notice, auction notice or bank repossession in February — a three-year low that the company attributed to continued fallout from the robo-signing controversy.
RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio noted that February is a short month, and that a small part of the decrease could also be attributed to bad weather.
But the "bottom line is that the industry is in the midst of a major overhaul that has severely restricted its capacity to process foreclosures," he said. "We expect to see the numbers bounce back, but that will likely take several months."
Foreclosure filings may never return to a March 2010 peak, when more than 367,000 properties were subjected to filings, he said.
Lenders repossessed 64,643 U.S. properties in February, down 17 percent from January and 18 percent from a year ago. That was a 22-month low, and a 37 percent drop from a September 2010 peak, when lenders added 102,134 homes to their real estate owned (REO) inventories.
Bank repossessions were down 24 percent from January and 35 percent from a year ago in states with a judicial foreclosure process. In states with a nonjudicial foreclosure process, repossessions were down 14 percent from January and 8 percent from a year ago.
In states with a judicial foreclosure process, default notices decreased 19 percent from January to February, and were down 48 percent from a year ago. In states with a nonjudicial foreclosure process, default notices decreased 13 percent from January and were down 31 percent from the same month a year ago.
Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate, as it has for 50 months running. One in every 119 Nevada housing units was subjected to a foreclosure filing in February, compared with one in 577 for the U.S. as a whole.
Arizona posted the nation’s second-highest state foreclosure rate (one filing per 178 housing unit), followed by California (1 in 239), Utah (1 in 273), Georgia (1 in 317), Michigan (1 in 324), Florida (1 in 472), Colorado (1 in 515) and Hawaii (1 in 541).
Properties with foreclosure filings
Filings per household (rate)
Percent change from year ago