Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011
Foreclosure filings slipped 2 percent between April and May and were down 33 percent from a year earlier, according to a new report released by RealtyTrac Thursday.
The company says foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions — were reported on 214,927 U.S. properties last month. That equates to one in every 605 homes receiving a filing during May. Overall activity has hit a 42-month low.
RealtyTrac attributed the continued declines to ongoing processing delays stemming from last fall’s documentation issues. But the company says it’s beginning to see hints of renewed activity, with spikes in various stages of the foreclosure process in some states.
New York, a judicial state, saw a 97 percent surge in new REOs last month. On the non-judicial side, Georgia posted a 79 percent increase in REO activity.
Other notable jumps in bank-owned properties from states both in and out of the courtrooms included Virginia (36%), New Jersey (21%), Wisconsin (20%), Michigan (19%), and Indiana (18%).
Judicial states saw the biggest spikes in scheduled foreclosure auctions, up 86 percent in Oklahoma, 56 percent in Maryland, and 47 percent in Illinois.
“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 Saccacio, RealtyTrac’s CEO.
He says the intermittent surges at different foreclosure stages in different states provides evidence that lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they clean up paperwork and determine that some local markets are able to absorb more foreclosure inventory.
Overall, Saccacio says while the inventory of properties in the foreclosure process has declined steadily for 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.
“That points to continued weak demand from buyers, making it tough for lenders to unload their REO inventory,” Saccacio said. “Even at a significantly lower level than a year ago, the new supply of REOs exceeds the amount being sold each month.”
The same names are still claiming the top spots on RealtyTrac’s ranking of state foreclosure rates.
Nevada has posted the nation’s highest rate for 53 straight months. Arizona and California took the second and third spots.
Florida, though, continues to slip in the rankings. It dropped to No. 8, while Michigan edged higher to claim the fourth position.
Other states in the top 10 included Utah, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, and Colorado.
Among metro foreclosure rates, Flint, Michigan broke into the top 10 ranks for the first time at the No. 9 spot. The California metro of Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville dropped off the list.
Six other Golden State metros maintained their top-10 notoriety, led by Stockton (No. 2), Vallejo-Fairfield (3), Modesto (4), Bakersfield (7), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (8), and Merced (10).
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area posted the nation’s sixth highest metro foreclosure rate.
Reno-Sparks took the No. 5 spot, and with a foreclosure rate of more than six times the national average, Las Vegas again posted the highest metro rate.
By: Carrie Bay DS NEWS