Statewide filings down 16 percent; rate remains nation’s 3rd highest
Foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 56,229 California properties in February, a 16 percent drop in foreclosure activity from January and 18 percent below the level reported for February 2010, according to the latest RealtyTrac® U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.
The state’s activity level was down at every stage of the foreclosure process during the month, led by the number of bank repossessed properties (REOs) down 20 percent from the previous month, followed by auction notices down 19 percent, and default notices down 10 percent. One in every 239 California housing units received a foreclosure filing in February, maintaining its status as the state with the nation’s third highest foreclosure rate for the fourth straight month.
California registered an unemployment rate of 12.4 percent in January. The state has remained at or above the 12 percent unemployment mark since September 2009.
For the past 50 months the Golden State has led the nation in total foreclosure activity. During that same time frame Florida has maintained its position as the state with the nation’s second highest activity level. In February, the Sunshine State reported 18,760 properties with foreclosure filings.
Arizona moved up a spot to third place, reporting 15,485 properties with foreclosure filings for the month. Michigan dropped a notch to fourth highest, tallying 14,003 properties with foreclosure filings. Fifth highest foreclosure total was reported in Georgia, where 12,807 properties with foreclosure filings were reported for the month.
The remaining states in the nation’s top 10 for total foreclosure activity in February included Texas (11,562), Illinois (9,592), Nevada (9,553), Ohio (8,598) and Wisconsin (4,478). The top 10 states accounted for 72 percent of the nation’s total foreclosure activity for the month.
Imperial County posts state’s top foreclosure rate in February
With one in every 133 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in February — 4.4 times the national average and 1.8 times the state average — Imperial County posted the highest foreclosure rate of all California counties. Riverside County had the second highest rate, with one in every 139 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month — 4.2 times the national average and 1.7 times the state average. One in every 140 housing units in Stanislaus County received a foreclosure filing, the third highest foreclosure rate in the state — 4.1 times the national average and 1.7 times the state average.
Southern California dominates state foreclosure totals in February
Five Southern California counties led the state in total foreclosure activity for February, with Los Angeles County leading the way once again. Reporting 12,206 properties with foreclosure filings, Los Angeles kept its status at the statewide leader. Riverside County reported 5,591 properties with foreclosure filings, the second highest foreclosure total in the state. San Bernardino County came in third, reporting 4,573 properties with foreclosure filings. San Diego was fourth, tallying 3,733 properties with foreclosure filings. Fifth highest was Orange County, where 3,298 properties with foreclosure filings were reported for the month.
State the largest contributor to nation’s foreclosure total in February
Twenty-five percent of the 225,101 properties with foreclosure filings reported nationwide in February were located in California. Total U.S. activity decreased by nearly 14 percent from January, and was down 27 percent from the level reported in February 2010. 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.”
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.
For current news and information regarding foreclosure-related issues and trends, check out our blog at www.ForeclosurePulse.com.
California Top Foreclosure Rates By County – February 2011
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California Top Foreclosure Totals by County – February 2011
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