Delinquent Loans Rolling into Foreclosure Inventory after Settlement
By: Esther Cho
Foreclosure inventory seems to be making a comeback after experiencing steady declines following the national mortgage settlement, RealtyTrac revealed in a report Thursday.
In the first quarter of 2013, the number of properties that were in the foreclosure process or bank-owned rose 9 percent year-over-year to 1.5 million, according to data from the online foreclosure marketplace.
“Delinquent loans that fell into a deep sleep after the robo-signing controversy in late 2010 are gradually coming out of hibernation following the finalization of the national mortgage settlement in April 2012,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.
The most recent figure represents a 12 percent increase from the five-year low seen in May 2012, but foreclosure inventory is still 32 percent below the December 2010 peak of 2.2 million.
A 59 percent spike in pre-foreclosure inventory, or loans in default and without a sale date, led to the overall annual increase in foreclosure inventory, RealtyTrac explained.
“The settlement provided some closure regarding accepted foreclosure processing practices, and as a result lenders have been reviving more of these delinquent loans and pushing them into foreclosure over the past 12 months, particularly in states where a lengthy court process has resulted in a bigger backlog of non-performing loans still in snooze mode,” Blomquist added.
While pre-foreclosure inventory surged over a one-year period, the inventory of homes scheduled for a foreclosure auction decreased 25 percent in the first quarter of this year, and the inventory of bank-owned homes was down 3 percent, according to the report.
RealtyTrac also found 35 percent of the homes in the foreclosure process were abandoned by the homeowner. The number of vacant foreclosures in Florida numbered 90,556, the highest out of any other state. Illinois came in second with 31,668 abandoned properties, followed by California (28,821), Ohio (17,367), and New York (15,212).
At the state level, a clear line was drawn between judicial and non-judicial states. Foreclosure inventory rose annually in 26 states, of which 19 were judicial. Out of the remaining 24 states, where foreclosure inventory declined, 19 were non-judicial.
In addition, RealtyTrac analyzed which institutions held the most foreclosure inventory. Not surprisingly, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took the No. 1 spot after accounting for 12 percent of inventory. Bank of America’s share was 11 percent, while Wells Fargo followed closely behind at 10 percent.
In terms of increases, Nationstar Mortgage experienced a 101 percent annual gain in foreclosure inventory, the largest out of any institution.
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