Third-Quarter Rise in Foreclosure Filings Is Just the Start: RealtyTrac
By: Carrie Bay
Data released by RealtyTrac Thursday shows that foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions – were reported on 610,337 properties in the third quarter of this year. That translates to one in every 213 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the three-month period.
The third-quarter tally represents an increase of less than 1 percent from the previous quarter – 0.35 percent to be exact – but is down 34 percent from the third quarter of 2010.
It’s just a marginal quarterly increase, but it breaks a trend of three consecutive quarterly declines that started late last year. RealtyTrac says it looks as though foreclosure activity is about to do an about-face from the falloff that set in after evidence of robo-signing surfaced.
James Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s CEO, describes foreclosure activity since last October as “mired,” brought on by the robo-signing controversy that sparked a flurry of investigations into servicers’ foreclosure procedures and paperwork.
“While foreclosure activity in September and the third quarter continued to register well below levels from a year ago, there is evidence that this temporary downward trend is about to change direction, with foreclosure activity slowly beginning to ramp back up,” Saccacio said.
The marginal increase in overall foreclosure activity was fueled by a 14 percent jump in new default notices, and Saccacio says it’s an indication that lenders “are cautiously throwing more wood into the foreclosure fireplace.”
Some of the states with the biggest quarterly increases in default notices included: Massachusetts (+65%), New Jersey (+29%), Florida (+24%), Ohio (+21%), and California (+21%).
Lenders foreclosed on 196,530 U.S. properties during the third quarter. RealtyTrac says a handful of states posted significant quarterly increases in REO activity in the third quarter.
Those states included: Massachusetts (+62%), Oregon (+47%), Georgia (+42%), and Illinois (+27%).
With the processing delays from last fall, foreclosure timelines in most parts of the country have hit new high-water marks.
U.S. properties foreclosed in the third quarter took an average of 336 days to complete the process, up from 318 days in the second quarter and the highest number of days going back to the first quarter of 2007.
New York’s timeline is the longest of any state, at 986 days. New Jersey’s not far behind at 974 days, with Florida claiming the third-longest timeline of 749 days.
Texas has the shortest foreclosure process in the country at just 86 days, followed by Kentucky with a timeline of 94 days and Virginia at 102 days.
RealtyTrac says the average time to sell foreclosures also hit a record high in the third quarter.
Properties in the foreclosure process that sold during the third quarter (usually short sales) took an average of 318 days to sell after entering the foreclosure process, up from 245 days in the previous quarter.
Bank-owned properties sold in the third quarter took an average of 193 days to sell after being repossessed by the bank, up from 178 days in the second quarter.
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