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.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Apr 11, 2012 6:59PM

© moodboard/CorbisForeclosure 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%

 

 
27Comments
Apr 11, 2012 9:20PM
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Is it down because so many have already been in forclosure ? Percentages say yes .


Apr 11, 2012 9:04PM
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To be fair, the article recognizes that foreclosures have in fact been on the rise the past couple of months. Yet, foreclousres are at this lowest point in 4-years. I can buy that. In our market, the medium-price of homes for sale has risen significantly in just the past year alone. While the housing market remains generally level, all indications are that at least our local market is going to survive the crunch, in fact showing signs of making a full recovery. Two newly proposed housing-developments are being contested, because of over-crowding and the ever increasing loss of open-space, otherwise ag land.
Apr 11, 2012 8:49PM
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My house is in foreclosure for two years and  MY HOUSE DO NOT APPEAR IN ANY SITE AS A FORECLOSURE.  SO BE AWARE THE MEDIA IS LAYING BIT TIME GO TO A COURT ROOM AND SEE DAILY HOW  MANY HUNDREDS OF HOUSE ARE TO CONTINUE IN FORECLOSURE FOR  6 MORE MONTHS.  THIS SITE IS PAID BY FAKE ADVERTISEMENT.   DON'T BELIEVE TI.

Apr 11, 2012 8:02PM
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Don't accept this "article" as any good news.... wait and see what happens in the next 6-12 months... there is going to be a second wave of foreclosures... count on it!
Apr 11, 2012 8:02PM
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Thanks to Jimmy Carter and his "homes for everybody" there was a foreclosure crises to begin with. If one cannot buy, they should simply rent.
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