By Inman News, Thursday, April 14, 2011
Continued fallout from the “robo signing” controversy saw loan servicers throttle back foreclosure filings during the first quarter to their lowest level in three years, according to public records gathered by data aggregator RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac counted 681,153 foreclosure-related filings against U.S. properties during the first three months of the year, down 15 percent from fourth-quarter 2010 and down 27 percent from first-quarter 2010.
Housing markets face a dual threat: looming shadow inventory and the probability that foreclosure filings will pick up as loan servicers put the robo-signing controversy behind them, said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio in a statement.
Federal regulators on Wednesday announced a partial settlement with the nation’s largest loan servicers that requires them to hire outside consultants to review foreclosures initiated in 2009 and 2010 and compensate homeowners who should not have been foreclosed on.
The biggest drop in first-quarter foreclosure-related filings was among homes hit with default notices for the first time. Loan servicers filed default notices on 197,112 homes during the first quarter, down 17 percent from the fourth quarter and 35 percent from a year ago.
Auction notices were down 19 percent from the fourth quarter and down 27 percent from a year ago, to 268,995. Bank repossessions, on the other hand, fell just 6 percent from the fourth quarter, to 215,046 — a 17 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2010.
Slowdowns were magnified in judicial foreclosure states like Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, where courts oversee the foreclosure process and the robo-signing controversy has had the greatest impact. Compared to a year ago, foreclosure-related filings were down 62 percent in Florida and Massachusetts, and 44 percent in New Jersey.
Among the 20 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates, 19 were in nonjudicial foreclosure states. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. was the lone exception.
Top 50 metro foreclosure rates
|Rank||Market||Properties with filings||Filings per household||Percent change from year ago|
|1||Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.||26,275||31||-7.74|
|6||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.||29,859||49||-27.17|
|11||Sacramento-Arden Arcade-Roseville, Calif.||13,606||63||-21.98|
|13||Boise City-Nampa, Idaho||3,458||70||-10.58|
|15||Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.||27,250||79||-6.48|
|16||Salt Lake City, Utah||4,907||82||-4.81|
|17||Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.||3,340||82||-15.06|
|18||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.||4,248||86||-58.74|
|21||San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.||1,263||93||7.58|
|23||Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.||2,112||94||-4.69|
|24||San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.||11,784||97||-28.88|
|27||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.||45,083||98||-23.97|
|29||Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.||1,473||103||-7.12|
|33||San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.||16,240||105||-16.46|
|34||Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.||977||106||-8.61|
|35||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.||5,448||117||-21.78|
|37||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.||18,867||129||-63.87|
|38||Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.||1,472||134||9.20|
|39||Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.||2,335||137||-6.90|
|46||Port St. Lucie, Fla.||1,356||154||-67.80|
|49||Colorado Springs, Colo.||1,652||157||-17.85|
|50||Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.||8,438||158||-56.24|
Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate: there was a foreclosure filing for one in every 35 housing units in that state. That compares to the U.S. average of one filing for every 191 housing units.
Arizona had the next highest state foreclosure rate (1 in 60 housing units), followed by California (1 in 80 units), Utah (1 in 98 units), Georgia (1 in 108), Michigan (1 in 121), Florida (1 in 152), Colorado (1 in 157) and Illinois (1 in 160).
In terms of raw numbers, California led all states with 168,543 properties receiving some type of foreclosure-related filing, followed by Florida (58,322), Arizona (46,047), Georgia (37,509), Michigan (37,506), Texas (34,646), Illinois (33,092), Nevada (32,066), Ohio (24,697) and Colorado (13,847).
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