Foreclosure Activity Hits Three Year Lows

March 10, 2011 (Jeff Alan)
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RealtyTrac released its monthly U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for February 2011 which disclosed that foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, were reported on 225,101 properties in February, the lowest amount in 36 months.

The drop in foreclosure filings represents a 14 percent decrease from January 2011, and 27 percent decrease from February 2010. It was the biggest year-over-year decline since 2005. The report shows that one in every 577 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.

“Foreclosure activity dropped to a 36-month low in February as allegations of improper foreclosure processing continued to dog the mortgage servicing industry and disrupt court dockets,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “While a small part of February’s decrease can be attributed to it being a short month and bad weather, the bottom line is that the industry is in the midst of a major overhaul that has severely restricted its capacity to process foreclosures. We expect to see the numbers bounce back, but that will likely take several months. And monthly volume may never return to its peak in March 2010 of more than 367,000 properties receiving foreclosure filings.”

Nevada continued to post the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the 50th straight month, where one in every 119 homes received a foreclosure in February, a decrease of 22 percent from the previous month. Arizona was second with one in 178 homes receiving a foreclosure filing, and California was third with one in 239 receiving a foreclosure filing.

Rounding out the top ten were Utah, Idaho, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, and Hawaii.

In pure volume, California accounted for 25 percent of the national total in February with 56,229 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, even though the states foreclosure activity decreased 16 percent from January. Florida was second with 18,740 foreclosure filings, which was down 13 percent from January and down a whopping 65 percent from February 2010. Arizona was third with 15,487 properties receiving foreclosure filings.

Rounding out the top ten were Michigan (14,003), Georgia (12,807), Texas (11,562), Illinois (9,592), Nevada (9,553), Ohio (8,598) and Wisconsin (4,478).

Foreclosure filings were down in every category in February. Notices of default fell 48 percent in judicial states from the year before and 41 percent in non-judicial states. Scheduled foreclosure auctions dropped 21 percent from the year before in non-judicial states and 49percent in judicial states. Bank repossessions fell 18 percent from one year ago in non-judicial states and 35 percent in judicial states.

Tags: RealtyTrac, Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure filings, repossessions, auctions, default notices