Foreclosure filings at lowest level in 56 months
Analysts caution that the first-quarter data don't indicate the crisis is over, noting that the number of foreclosure starts has increased in each of the past four months.
Foreclosure filings in the first quarter of this year were at the lowest level in more than four years, but analysts say that doesn't mean the foreclosure crisis is over.
Continuing a trend from the previous quarter, the number of foreclosure filings continued to fall, according to first-quarter 2012 data from RealtyTrac.
The number of properties that were the subject of a foreclosure action — a default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession — fell to 572,928 for the quarter. That was down 2% from the last quarter of 2011 and down 16% from the first quarter of 2011.
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That means that one in every 230 U.S. housing units was the subject of a foreclosure filing during the first quarter.
While the decline in foreclosure filings has held for two quarters, that trend is not likely to continue, RealtyTrac analysts cautioned.
"The low foreclosure numbers in the first quarter are not an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built up over the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated," Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said in a news release.
He noted that foreclosure activity has picked up considerably in states with mandated judicial foreclosures, where the robo-signing crisis had previously slowed the process. The number of foreclosure starts nationwide increased 7% from February to March, the fourth straight month of increase. That indicates cracks in the dam, Moore said.
"The dam may not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen — both in terms of new foreclosure activity and new short-sale activity," Moore said.
The 26 states that require foreclosures to go through the courts posted an 8% increase in foreclosure action from the previous quarter and a 10% increase over the first quarter of 2011.
States with the most notable increases year to year include:
- Indiana: 45%
- Connecticut: 38%
- Massachusetts: 26%
- Florida: 26%
- South Carolina: 26%
- Pennsylvania: 23%
By contrast, foreclosure filings declined in nonjudicial-foreclosure states, where the process was not slowed as much by document issues, in most cases. States with the most notable declines year to year include:
- Arkansas: 79%
- Nevada: 62%
- Washington: 55%
- Arizona: 41%
- Texas: 31%.
- California: 21%
Any more BS ??? When will these spin-doctors go for therapy !
When the foreclosure market "slows" - it's not because it's "all better" - it's because they are RUNNING OUT OF PEOPLE TO FORECLOSE ON!
$%^^(*& F'n A___HOLES
CAN WE "STONE" THIS STUPID "REPORTER", AND THE LIKES OF HIM/HER/IT
another controlled media lie.
over 11 million inventory and another huge wave is coming soon.
u got it wrong media whores
I can only believe what I see in my local paper in Illinois...where I count the number of pages that post foreclosures and it is up and dominates the classified section.
this article smacks of obama**** feel good campaigning
99% American People, listen up!
NO VACATIONS, NO EATING OUT, ONLY BUY ENOUGH gasoline to get back & forth from WORK & STOP ON THE WAY HOME for GROCERIES!
Buy NO GASOLINE on April 15 (& 16 & 17 if you can help it)
Vote STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC, the life you save may be your OWN!!!
Give money to anyone that breathes and this is what you have. The banks did, the fed oversaw it, and obama and company support it. PONZI. I think its really lame that people blame the signers as if an 8 dollar an hour job with 5 kids living in NY, you need to be able to afford a 500,000 loan. Get real. The banks love it. They got paid. The homewowners and the middle class have the next 50 years to dig out. A company town!
I think there is a new group of people, that will be foreclosed on in the near future..
Not just people who bought what they couldn't afford. but people that have been in their
homes for years making the payments...and no longer can keep up with the rising cost of food, fuel, insurance, along with other everyday needs...
The hard working tax paying citizens that have taken pay cuts, moved to part time jobs,
cause that's all they can find. They will be the next group of Americans losing their homes...
Stopped paying in Jan. My partner in this, the bank, is beginning to realize that with a short sale to my left, and two foreclosures to my right, a short sale won't even help us. No comp can be found to underwrite a mortgage for anyone. So, I sit and receive HAMP advisories in the mail, nothing requiring signatures, with the bank knowing that I have made choice here. I don't need help to stay in my house. If I leave, as others say is just, who will maintain the property? I bear witness to the remodeling crews that are working now to make our local foreclosures sellable. Not pretty. A fact that needs to be discussed by all is that bank EBT values are inflated by sheriff sale purchases on their books. Sheriff sales are not competitive bidding exercises. Reason being that in my state, there is a redemption period of 6 months following the sale that the purchaser has no rights to the property purchased. That is the time they give persons like myself time to "make good" on the mortgage, be forgiven, and pretend nothing happened. The banks purchase at full loan value plus fees, to ensure that the value of the property on their books remains inflated. Banks don't take the loss until the property actually is sold. All future sales are short sales. What bothers me is that the current system does not allow myself to purchase at what would be the short sale price, solely due to my being the current owner. Wouldn't[t it make sense, since the outcome can be nothing other, that the current owners of these properties be allowed to buy them, vs. another? BTW, I have another property that will be converted to my principle residence, so future mortgages are of no concern at this time.
The new trend in allowing homeowners to live in their foreclosed homes makes sense when you take into account that it keeps home prices from falling further. It also has the practical value of allowing loan holders the essential element of time needed to negotiate loan modifications, collect rent, or just simply keep the homes (their investments) from falling apart while everyone waits for the economy and housing market in general to make some type of sustainable recovery. A house is so much different than other investments. Mutual funds and bonds have no physical shape, and hence don't need repairs, upkeep, and maintenance.
The current uptick in domestic and foreign investment causing the current housing run (or trot) is ephemeral at best. That's fine with me and what I'm hoping for since I'm looking to purchase a primary residence in the coming months.
Even amongst the doom and gloom crowd, I can't see another housing collapse which would basically mean we're all screwed. I don't think the evil powers that control our fate would go as far as to let that happen. Keep fighting America!
Another thing that I think is important to remember is that a large number of the houses that have been foreclosed on were mortgages that never should have been made in the first place. It was a case of people willing to go along with the shady financing because they saw an opportunity to get what they probably knew they weren't in a position to buy. I'm sure that my saying that will irritate a lot of people. Probably only the people who actually did what I said though. We all know people who did that. Most were poor credit risks and that's where the sub-prime loans started. They couldn't get a loan at the market rate of say 6% or so. But at 11% there were plenty of investors who were willing to take a chance. So I don't feel sorry for people who fit into that category.
While I take no joy from those who have lost their homes, I do see the other side of the picture. In truth housing prices were just unrealistic for several years and the lax underwriting only added to the problem. Now prices have come back to about where they should be. I imagine that my home will probably continue to go down in price over the next year. But I can accept that and it won't be a problem because I plan on staying in the home for a number of years.
The bad news is that people are continuing to lose their homes. I think that we will continue to large numbers of foreclosures. Depending upon where you live it may be better or worse but there will be plenty to go around. That in spite of some efforts by the current administration to provide refinancing. I only hope that this problem does eventually work itself out and responsible people will again be able to buy homes.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.