U.S. Foreclosure Starts Fall to Six-Year Low in January

CaliforniaForeclosure Starts Drop 62 Percent from December to 7-YearLow
  Scheduled Foreclosure Auctions atOver1-Year Highs in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey

IRVINE,Calif. – Feb. 14, 2013 — RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), theleading online marketplace for foreclosure properties and real estate data,today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for January 2013, whichshows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bankrepossessions — were reported on 150,864 U.S. properties in January,a decrease of 7 percent from the previous month and down 28 percent fromJanuary 2012. The report also shows one in every 869 U.S. housing units with aforeclosure filing during the month

“The U.S. foreclosure landscape inJanuary was profoundly altered by the effects of new legislation that tookeffect in California on the first of the year,” said Daren Blomquist, vicepresident at RealtyTrac. “Dubbed the Homeowners Bill of Rights, thislegislation extends many of the principles in the national mortgage settlement– including a prohibition on so-called dual tracking and requiring a singlepoint of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure — to all mortgage servicersoperating in California. In addition the new law imposes fines of up to $7,500per loan for filing of multiple unverified foreclosure documents. As a result,the downward foreclosure trend in California accelerated into hyper speed inJanuary, decisively shifting the balance of power when it comes to the nation’sforeclosure activity.

“For the first time since January 2007California did not have the most properties with foreclosure filings of anystate. Instead that dubious distinction went to Florida, where Januaryforeclosure activity increased on an annual basis for the 11th time in the last13 months.”

High-level findings from thereport:

  • U.S. foreclosurestarts were down 11 percent from the previous month and down 28 percent from ayear ago to the lowest level since June 2006 — a 79-month low.
  • U.S. bank repossessions(REO) decreased 5 percent from the previous month and were down 24 percent fromJanuary 2012 to the lowest level since February 2008.
  • The national decrease in foreclosure starts was caused in large part by a sharpdrop in California notices of default (NOD) in January, down 62 percent fromDecember and down 75 percent from January 2012 to the lowest level sinceOctober 2005.
  • Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased  from the previous month in26 states and the District of Columbia, hitting 12-month or more highs inseveral key judicial foreclosure states, including Florida, Illinois,Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, although foreclosure starts were down on ayear-over-year basis in Florida, Illinois andPennsylvania.
  • Some of the biggestyear-over-year increases in foreclosure starts came in non-judicial foreclosurestates where legislation or court rulings stalled foreclosure actions lastyear: Arkansas (539 percent increase), Washington (179 percent increase), andNevada (87 percent increase).
  • Florida posted thenation’s highest state foreclosure rate for the fifth month in a row inJanuary, and also had the highest number of properties with foreclosure filingsfor the month, marking the first month since January 2007 that California hasnot had the highest number of properties with foreclosurefilings.

Florida, Nevada, Illinoispost highest state foreclosure rates
The Floridaforeclosure rate ranked highest among the states for the fifth monthin a row. One in every 300 Florida housing units had a foreclosure filing inJanuary — more than twice the national average. A total of 29,800 Floridaproperties had a foreclosure filing during the month, up 12 percent from theprevious month and up 20 percent from January 2012.

With onein every 344 housing units with a foreclosure filing in January, Nevada postedthe nation’s second highest foreclosure rate for the fourth consecutive month.Overall Nevadaforeclosure activity decreased 43 percent from a year ago, butforeclosure starts (NODs) increased 19 percent from the previous month and wereup 87 percent from January 2012 to a 16-month high.

A 32percent month-over-month jump in scheduled foreclosure auctions helped the Illinoisforeclosure rate rise to third highest among the states in January. One inevery 375 Illinois housing units had a foreclosure filing during themonth.

Other states with foreclosure rates among the nation’s10 highest were Arizona (one in 501 housing units with a foreclosure filing),Georgia (one in 513 housing units), Ohio (one in 612 housing units), Washington(one in 674 housing units), California (one in 753 housing units), Indiana (onein 784 housing units), and Michigan (one in every 837 housing units).

Florida cities account for six of top 10 metroforeclosure rates
With one in every 223 housing unitswith a foreclosure filing in January, the Ocala, Fla., metro area posted thenation’s highest foreclosure rate in January among metropolitan statisticalareas with a population of 200,000 or more.

Five otherFlorida metro areas documented foreclosure rates in the top 10: Miami at No. 2(one in 228 housing units with a foreclosure filing); Orlando at No. 3 (one in241 housing units); Jacksonville at No. 8 (one in 301 housing units); Tampa atNo. 9 (one in 307 housing units); and Lakeland at No. 10 (one in 332 housingunits).

Other cities with foreclosure rates in the top 10were Rockford, Ill., at No. 4 (one in every 265 housing units with aforeclosure filing); Stockton, Calif., at No. 5 (one in every 277 housingunits); Las Vegas at No. 6 (one in 283 housing units); and Chicago at No. 7(one in 293 housing units).

Report methodology
TheRealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total numberof properties with at least one foreclosure filing entered into the RealtyTracdatabase during the month — broken out by type of filing. Some foreclosurefilings entered into the database during the month may have been recorded inprevious 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 offoreclosure: DefaultNoticeof Default (NOD) and LisPendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee’s Saleand Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and RealEstate Owned, or REOproperties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).The report does not count a property again if it receives the same type offoreclosure filing multiple times within the estimated foreclosure timeframefor the state where the property islocated.

The RealtyTrac U.S.Foreclosure Market Report is the result of a proprietary evaluation ofinformation compiled by RealtyTrac; the report and any of the information inwhole or in part can only be quoted, copied, published, re-published,distributed and/or re-distributed or used in any manner if the userspecifically references RealtyTrac as the source for said report and/or any ofthe information set forth within the report.

DataLicensing and Custom Report Order
Investors, businessesand government institutions can contact RealtyTrac to license bulk foreclosureand neighborhood data or purchase customized reports. We can provide you withnationwide, regional or local data and reports dating back to 2005 for bothinternal use and resale. For more information contact our Data LicensingDepartment at 800.462.5193 or datasales@realtytrac.com.

AboutRealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is theleading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with more than 1.5 million activedefault, foreclosureauction and bank-ownedproperties, and more than 1 million active for-sale listings on its website,which also provides essential housing information for more than 100 millionhomes nationwide. This information includes property characteristics, taxassessor records, bankruptcy status and sales history, along with 20 categoriesof key housing-related facts provided by RealtyTrac’s wholly-owned subsidiary,Homefacts®.RealtyTrac’s foreclosurereports and other housing data are relied on by the Federal Reserve,U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments,investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals andconsumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions aboutreal estate.

Jennifer von Pohlmann
949.502.8300,ext. 139

949.502.8300, ext. 268

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