Statewide filings down 7 percent from April, 28 percent from a year ago
Foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 51,906 California properties in May, a 7 percent decrease from April and 28 percent below the level reported for May 2010, according to the latest RealtyTrac® U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. This is the 18th straight monthly decline in California foreclosure activity year-over-year.
As it has since late last year, California has once again posted the third highest foreclosure rate in the nation, with one in every 259 California housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in May.
The Golden State continued its national dominance in total foreclosure activity as well, with Florida remaining a distant second, reporting 19,192 properties with foreclosure filings for the month. Michigan moved up a spot to third place, reporting 14,614 properties with foreclosure filings while Arizona moved down to fourth, reporting 13,122 properties with foreclosure filings. Nevada stayed steady in fifth, reporting 11,039 properties with foreclosure filings for the month.
The rest of the nation’s top 10 states for May included Illinois (10,574), Georgia (10,503), Texas (9,055), Ohio (8,379) and Wisconsin (4,660). The nation’s top 10 accounted for 71 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity for the month.
Colusa County posts state’s top foreclosure rate in May
One in every 128 housing units in Colusa County received a foreclosure filing in May — 4.7 times the national average and twice the state average — the highest foreclosure rate of all California counties. Madera County came in second highest, with a rate of one in every 130 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month — 4.7 times the national average and twice the state average. Third highest was San Joaquin County, where one in every 139 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month — 4.4 times the national average and 1.9 times the state average.
Southern California sweeps in foreclosure totals once again in May
The state’s top five county foreclosure totals came once again from the southern half of the state in May, led by Los Angeles County, where 11,109 properties with foreclosure filings were reported for the month. Riverside County remained a distant second, reporting 4,703 properties with foreclosure filings. San Bernardino County was third highest, reporting 3,947 properties with foreclosure filings. San Diego continued in fourth place, tallying 3,585 properties with foreclosure filings. Fifth highest was Orange County, where 3,202 properties with foreclosure filings were reported for the month.
State the nation’s largest contributor to total foreclosure activity in May
California alone accounted for 24 percent of the 214,927 properties with foreclosure filings reported nationwide in May. Total U.S. activity decreased by 7 percent from April, and was down 28 percent from the level reported in May 2010. One in every 605 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month.
“Foreclosure processing delays continue to mask the true face of the foreclosure situation, although there were some clues in the May numbers of what lies behind that mask,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “First, activity spiked in May for various stages of the foreclosure process in some states, a pattern that has occurred in several states over the past few months. This pattern provides evidence that lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they overhaul their paperwork and documentation procedures and as they determine that some local markets are able to absorb more foreclosure inventory.
“Second, while the inventory of properties in the foreclosure process has declined steadily over the past six months — thanks in large part to 16 consecutive months of year-over-year declines in new default notices — the inventory of unsold bank-owned REOs increased in April and May even as new REO activity slowed in both of those months,” Saccacio continued. “That points to continued weak demand from buyers, making it tough for lenders to unload their REO inventory. Even at a significantly lower level than a year ago, the new supply of REOs exceeds the amount being sold each month.”
The RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTrac database during the month — broken out by type of filing by state, county and metropolitan statistical area. Some foreclosure filings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded in previous months. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is received for a property during the month, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The report also checks if the same type of document was filed against a property in a previous month. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state the property is in, the report does not count the property in the current month.
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California Top Foreclosure Rates By County – May 2011
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California Top Foreclosure Totals by County – May 2011
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% Chg May 10