A record 2.8 million properties receive
foreclosure notices in 2009

By Daren Blomquist

Activity Up 25 percent from 2008 despite estimated shadow inventory of 1 million+

A total of 3,957,643 foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 2,824,674 U.S. properties in 2009, a 21 percent increase in total properties from 2008 and a 120 percent increase in total properties from 2007. The report also shows that 2.21 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 45) received at least one foreclosure filing during the year, up from 1.84 percent in 2008, 1.03 percent in 2007 and 0.58 percent in 2006.

Foreclosure filings were reported on 349,519 U.S. properties in December, a 14 percent jump from the previous month and a 15 percent increase from December 2008 — when a similar monthly jump in foreclosure activity occurred. Despite the increase in December, foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter decreased 7 percent from the third quarter, although it was still up 18 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008.

"As bad as the 2009 numbers are, they probably would have been worse if not for legislative and industry-related delays in processing delinquent loans," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "After peaking in July with over 361,000 homes receiving a foreclosure notice, we saw four straight monthly decreases driven primarily by short-term factors: trial loan modifications, state legislation extending the foreclosure process and an overwhelming volume of inventory clogging the foreclosure pipeline.

"Despite all the delays, foreclosure activity still hit a record high for our report in 2009, capped off by a substantial increase in December," Saccacio continued. "In the long term a massive supply of delinquent loans continues to loom over the housing market, and many of those delinquencies will end up in the foreclosure process in 2010 and beyond as lenders gradually work their way through the backlog."

Nevada, Arizona, Florida post top state foreclosure rates in 2009
More than 10 percent of Nevada housing units received at least one foreclosure filing in 2009, giving it the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the third consecutive year. Nevada foreclosure activity in December increased 27 percent from the previous month but was still down 22 percent from December 2008. Fourth quarter foreclosure activity in Nevada was down 37 percent from the previous quarter thanks to substantial decreases in October and November.

Arizona registered the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in 2009, with more than 6 percent of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year, and Florida registered the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate, with 5.93 percent of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure filing during the year.

Other states with 2009 foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were California (4.75 percent), Utah (2.93 percent), Idaho (2.72 percent), Georgia (2.68 percent), Michigan (2.61 percent), Illinois (2.50 percent), and Colorado (2.37 percent).

California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois account for 50 percent of national total
Four states accounted for more than 50 percent of the nation’s 2009 total, with more than 1.4 million properties receiving a foreclosure filing in California, Florida, Arizona and Illinois combined.

A total of 632,573 California properties received a foreclosure filing in 2009, the nation’s largest state foreclosure activity total and an increase of nearly 21 percent from 2008. After four straight month-over-month declines, California foreclosure activity in December increased nearly 9 percent from the previous month, but the state’s fourth quarter foreclosure activity was still down 17 percent from the previous quarter.

Florida posted the nation’s second largest total, with 516,711 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in 2009 — a 34 percent increase from 2008. The state’s fourth quarter foreclosure activity was down nearly 9 percent from the previous quarter despite a 4 percent monthly increase in foreclosure activity in December.

Arizona foreclosure activity in December spiked 40 percent from the previous month, helping the state post the third largest foreclosure activity total for the year. A total of 163,210 Arizona properties received a foreclosure filing in 2009, a nearly 40 percent increase from 2008.

A total of 131,132 Illinois properties received a foreclosure filing in 2009, the nation’s fourth largest total and an increase of nearly 32 percent 2008. The state’s fourth quarter foreclosure activity increased nearly 29 percent from the previous quarter, and the state’s December foreclosure activity was up nearly 9 percent from the previous month.

Other states with 2009 totals among the 10 highest in the country were Michigan (118,302), Nevada (112,097), Georgia (106,110), Ohio (101,614), Texas (100,045), and New Jersey (63,208).

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Foreclosure Market Data by State - 2009 Totals

Rate Rank State Name Total Properties with Filings %Housing Units 1/every X HU %Δ from 2008 %Δ from 2007
  U.S. 2,824,674 2.21 45 21.21 119.67
30 Alabama 19,896 0.93 107 156.26* 257.07*
31 Alaska 2,442 0.87 116 25.49 83.33
2 Arizona 163,210 6.12 16 39.60 323.17
23 Arkansas 16,547 1.29 78 15.90 158.30
4 California 632,573 4.75 21 20.81 153.52
10 Colorado 50,514 2.37 42 0.23 28.20
21 Connecticut 19,679 1.37 73 -10.24 65.93
35 Delaware 3,034 0.78 128 20.59 203.70*
  District of Columbia 3,235 1.14 88 -22.64 316.34*
3 Florida 516,711 5.93 17 34.10 212.61
7 Georgia 106,110 2.68 37 24.46 79.67
15 Hawaii 9,002 1.78 56 182.64 831.88
6 Idaho 17,161 2.72 37 101.61* 371.46*
9 Illinois 131,132 2.50 40 31.81 103.91
18 Indiana 41,405 1.49 67 -9.87 47.98
43 Iowa 5,681 0.43 234 5.50 38.46
36 Kansas 9,056 0.74 135 45.64 272.06*
40 Kentucky 9,682 0.51 197 33.66* 89.66*
39 Louisiana 11,750 0.63 158 64.82* 196.12*
41 Maine 3,178 0.46 219 11.47 1,011.19*
13 Maryland 43,248 1.87 54 33.74 129.08
22 Mass. 36,119 1.33 75 -18.54 103.64
8 Michigan** 118,302 2.61 38 11.54 35.65
20 Minnesota 31,697 1.38 73 56.28 174.27
42 Mississippi 5,402 0.43 232 135.59* 283.39*
28 Missouri 28,519 1.08 93 -8.75† 21.40†
44 Montana 1,373 0.32 317 10.19 19.39
46 Nebraska 1,845 0.24 423 -42.16 -49.26
1 Nevada 112,097 10.17 10 44.28 225.70
26 New Hampshire 7,210 1.21 82 8.65 482.39*
14 New Jersey 63,208 1.81 55 1.11 103.43
32 New Mexico 7,212 0.84 120 93.51* 140.88*
38 New York 50,369 0.63 158 0.67 30.19
37 North Carolina 28,384 0.69 145 -16.07 -2.46
49 North Dakota 390 0.13 796 5.12 56.00
12 Ohio 101,614 2.01 50 -10.53 12.93
34 Oklahoma 12,937 0.80 125 3.79 56.70
11 Oregon 34,121 2.12 47 89.55 303.27
33 Pennsylvania 44,732 0.82 122 20.21 173.11
27 Rhode Island 5,065 1.12 89 -23.06 175.57
25 South Carolina 25,163 1.24 80 67.81* 492.49*
47 South Dakota 765 0.21 467 90.30* 3,087.50*
17 Tennessee 40,733 1.49 67 -7.75†† 57.19††
29 Texas 100,045 1.06 94 4.04 18.44
5 Utah 27,140 2.93 34 82.93 264.88
50 Vermont 143 0.05 2178 4.38 393.10*
16 Virginia 52,127 1.59 63 6.36 219.66†
24 Washington 35,268 1.29 78 35.34 132.27
48 West Virginia 1,479 0.17 597 115.91* 221.52*
19 Wisconsin 35,252 1.38 73 78.99* 190.55*
45 Wyoming 717 0.30 338 5.91 101.40

*Actual increase may not be as high due to data collection changes or improvements
**Collection of records classified as NOD began in August 2009 because of change in state law
† Collection of some records previously classified as NOD in this state was discontinued starting in January 2009
†† Collection of some records previously classified as NOD in this state was discontinued starting in September 2008


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