End of Year Foreclosure Report: 2011 Will Be Worse

January 13, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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RealtyTrac released its Year-End 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, predicting that foreclosures will peak in 2011. Although foreclosures for December were down 4 percent from November and down 35 percent from a year ago, a total of 3,825,637 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on a record 2,871,891 U.S. properties in 2010.

The total number of foreclosures was an increase of nearly 2 percent from 2009 and an increase of 23 percent from 2008. The report also shows that 2.23 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 45) received at least one foreclosure filing during the year, up from 2.21 percent in 2009, 1.84 percent in 2008, 1.03 percent in 2007 and 0.58 percent in 2006.

For the fourth straight year, Nevada had the dubious distinction of being the state with the highest foreclosure rate. More than 9 percent of Nevada housing units (1 in 11) received at least one foreclosure filing in 2010 and that was despite a 5 percent decrease from last year.

Rounding out the top ten was Arizona (5.73%), Florida (5.51%), California (4.08%), Utah (3.44), Georgia (3.25%), Michigan (3.00%), Idaho (2.98%), Illinois (2.87%), and Colorado (2.51%).

More than half of the country’s foreclosure activity came out of five states in 2010: California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan. Together, these states recorded almost 1.5 million households receiving a filing, despite year-over-year decreases in California, Florida and Arizona.

And although the lawsuits and the “robo-signing” controversy may have slowed down the pace of foreclosures, it really just prolonged the pain.

“Total properties receiving foreclosure filings would have easily exceeded 3 million in 2010 had it not been for the fourth quarter drop in foreclosure activity — triggered primarily by the continuing controversy surrounding foreclosure documentation and procedures that prompted many major lenders to temporarily halt some foreclosure proceedings,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Even so, 2010 foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report, and many of the foreclosure proceedings that were stopped in late 2010 — which we estimate may be as high as a quarter million — will likely be re-started and add to the numbers in early 2011.”

Tags: realtytrac, 2010 foreclosure report, repossessions, auctions, default notices, record foreclosures, foreclosure filings, robo-signing